EGA is a cash grant from the county for low-income people with an emergency. It can be for 1 person or a household with only adults. Sometimes families with children can get EGA, but they would more likely get Emergency Assistance (EA) instead.
Some examples of emergencies are eviction, utility shut-off, mortgage foreclosure, or needing to get a security deposit to escape homelessness. Apply for EGA at your county benefits office.
Note: Counties sometimes run out of money before the end of the fiscal year. If this happens, the county might not be able to give people EGA cash grants until it gets more money to fund their EGA program.
Counties mostly get to make their own rules for EGA. But there are some state law limits they have to follow.
You do not have to be on or eligible for General Assistance (GA) to get EGA.
You have to meet income level rules. For EGA your income has to be less than 200% of the poverty level. You can find the guidelines at https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines. To figure it out for EGA, double the number listed. Your income has to be below that.
You can’t have gotten EGA in the last 12 months.
You can’t be on MFIP. If you are on MFIP, you must apply for a different program called Emergency Assistance.
You have to be dealing with an emergency that puts someone in your household in danger to their health or safety.
The EGA must fix the crisis. EGA doesn’t pay back rent if your income doesn’t cover your rent in future months and you would lose your housing anyway. EGA won’t pay unless you or another agency is paying the rest of what you owe. Counties call this “cost effective.”
You must use your own money first. EGA can be used to pay what you can't.
Counties might have more rules, like whether someone in your home has to be a US citizen or legal resident, or they might look at how you spent your money a month or 2 before you applied. Counties also get to decide how much they pay for rent, utilities or a deposit.
You can appeal. Give the worker a letter that says you want an “expedited” appeal. Expedited means faster than usual because it is an emergency. Date the letter and keep a copy. See our fact sheet, Benefits Appeals to DHS. Call your legal aid office right away.
To see about other emergency funds, call 2-1-1 statewide, or 800-543-7709.
You can also send a text message with your zip code to 898-211 or chat online at www.211unitedway.org.