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What is General Relief Assistance?

What is General Relief Assistance?

What is General Relief Assistance? If you are an Alaska resident in need of financial help to meet your basic needs, General Relief Assistance might offer a solution. General Relief Assistance is a program meant to help Alaskans meet their needs in emergency situations. Read on for more information about how Alaska General Relief Assistance might be able to help you. 

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What is General Relief Assistance?

General Relief Assistance is a state-funded program that helps Alaskans meet their basic needs when there are no other resources available. Because the program is funded by the state, funds are quite limited for this program. That means that the eligibility criteria is strict and reserved for Alaskans who are most in need of help, and whose expenses cannot be covered by another agency. 

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What is General Relief Assistance for?

General Relief Assistance in Alaska can be used to cover a range of expenses in emergency situations, including shelter, utilities, food, and clothing. In some circumstances, General Relief Assistance funds can be used to help defray burial expenses for a deceased family member. 

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It is important to note that the need for coverage must be immediate. In other words, you must be able to present evidence that coverage for the need cannot wait. That might mean presenting a shut-off notice for your utilities, a notice that you are about to be evicted from your home, or otherwise demonstrating need for food and/or clothing. 

Who is eligible for General Relief Assistance?

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General Relief Assistance is available to residents of the State of Alaska who are United States citizens or legal alien residents. General Relief Assistance is primarily available to adults over the age of 18, but assistance can also be granted to minors under the age of 18 if they are married, or live away from their parents and are fully responsible for their own finances. 

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Applicants for General Relief Assistance must demonstrate considerable financial need. According to the Alaska Division of Public Assistance, the household or person applying for assistance must not have any financial resources to draw from, “in the form of cash on hand, credit, or eligibility for other assistance programs, to provide for basic needs.”

Financial need is also determined by income level. In addition to a significant lack of financial resources, a household’s income must not exceed a certain amount per month. For a household of one person, monthly income cannot exceed $300 in order to be eligible for assistance. For each additional family member, add $100 to the monthly income maximum. 

Finally, financial need for General Relief Assistance is determined by “resource limits”. This refers to liquid assets like stocks and bonds, and non-liquid assets like personal property. Assets cannot exceed $500 in value for a household to be eligible for General Relief Assistance. When assessing the value of an applicant’s resources, the State of Alaska does not include things like one’s home or automobile in their calculation. Please refer to the Alaska Division of Public Assistance website for more information about eligibility for General Relief Assistance. 

If you meet all of the requirements above, you might be eligible for General Relief Assistance in Alaska. 

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How much money can you get from General Relief Assistance?

The maximum amount of General Relief Assistance that a household can receive in the State of Alaska is $120. It is also important to note that the assistance is always paid to a vendor like the electric company or a landlord. The State of Alaska does not make cash transfers to the individuals and/or households applying for assistance. 

There is one exception to the $120 limit, and that is burial assistance. It is not clear what the exact limit is for burial assistance, but you can find out by contacting the Division of Public Assistance.

If you believe you are eligible for General Relief Assistance, you can apply by mail, phone, or fax using the information on this webpage.  

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Catherine Hall, LMSW is a therapist at a small group practice in New York City. She earned her master of social work degree at New York University.