General Assistance (GA)

Frequently Asked Questions

GA helps people pay for basic needs like rent and clothing. You can apply for GA at your local county or tribal human services office.

GA is for individuals and married couples without children who can’t afford to pay for basic needs.

There are certain categories of people who are eligible for GA. Some typical examples include people who are:

  • Permanently or temporarily ill
  • Taking care of someone who is sick or has a disability
  • In a mental, physical, or drug rehabilitation facility
  • Applying for SSDI or SSI
  • Waiting to hear back on an SSDI or SSI appeal
  • Living with a learning disability

The GA asset limit is $10,000 for both individuals and married couples.

No. Some examples of assets that GA doesn’t count are:

  • Real property, including the home you live in
  • Personal goods like pets, furniture, clothing, jewelry, appliances, and tools,
  • The value of one car per family member who is 16 or older (if you have more cars than that, they will be counted as assets), and
  • Assets in an ABLE account: If your disability began before you turned 26, you can save up to $18,000 each year in an ABLE account and not have it counted by GA. Learn more about ABLE accounts.

Adults not living with a parent can have $203 in income each month. Married couples can have a combined income of $260 each month. Children under the age of 18 not living with a parent can have $250 in income each month.

No. GA will subtract certain types of income when they decide if you’re over the limit. GA will count less than half of your earned income from work, meaning you'll always be financially better off if you work.

The maximum monthly GA benefit is $203 for individuals $260 for couples. To determine your benefit amount, subtract your countable monthly income from the maximum benefit amount that applies to you.

Most people get GA benefits once a month. You can choose from three different ways to get your GA payments:

  1. Through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card
  2. Through direct deposit to a bank account
  3. Through a check from the State of Minnesota

Apply for GA online at MNbenefits or by filing a paper application. After your application is received, you’ll be interviewed. You should hear back within 30 days.

If you get GA, you should apply for SNAP. You also probably qualify to get health coverage from Medical Assistance (MA), but you have to apply separately at your county or tribal human services office or using MNsure.

Yes. If you have a disability and apply for GA, you have to apply for SSDI and SSI. The Department of Human Services has people who can help with an SSI application. You can’t be on both SSI and GA at the same time, but you can get GA while you’re waiting for SSI to decide on an application or appeal.

Learn more