Washington State Institute for Public Policy
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December 2009
The 2009 Legislature directed the Institute to review state general assistance programs and to identify “promising approaches that both improve client outcomes and reduce state costs.” General Assistance-Unemployable (GA-U) is a state-funded program that provides cash and medical assistance to adults with temporary incapacities (for example, an illness) that prevent them from working. Nineteen states (including Washington) operate GA-U programs. Research evidence suggests that client and taxpayer finance outcomes can be improved by providing treatment services to individuals diagnosed with mental illness or substance abuse disorders. These services are appropriate for many GA-U clients.
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