The percentage of Erie County residents receiving cash assistance grants has climbed in recent years and is now second highest in the state.
The state Department of Public Welfare administers several cash assistance programs to aid disabled individuals or those not earning enough money to support their families.
In June, 9,016 Erie County residents received cash assistance grants, according to state data.
Using 2010 census counts, I calculated this is 3.2 percent of the county’s total population. Only Philadelphia County has a higher rate.
The majority of recipients, 7,276, received grants part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The program distributes grants to pregnant women, parents and children who meet certain requirements.
Another 1,729 county residents received General Assistance benefits. These funds assist low-income individuals and families not eligible for TANF benefits.
The other 11 cash assistance recipients were for visually impaired persons with the state’s State Blind Pension Program.
In all, grants totaling $1,189,349.79 were paid to Erie County residents in June. Neighboring Crawford County’s total was $244,611.51