Hawaii cuts general assistance payments

HONOLULU (AP) - The state of Hawaii is cutting financial assistance payments it provides to more than 5,500 people.

The Department of Human Services says it must cut the per-person General Assistance benefit to keep the program in budget as more people enroll.

Starting Feb. 1, monthly payments will decrease to $298. The state currently gives each beneficiary $319 per month.

The program provides cash benefits for clothing, shelter, food and other essentials. Recipients may be adults between the ages of 18 through 64, without minor dependents.

Beneficiaries must be temporarily disabled, have little or no income and be ineligible for other federal assistance.

Department Director Patricia McManaman said in a statement Friday the benefits of a growing economy haven't affected many of the department's programs and enrollment is growing.

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