ATLANTA-–Following Gov. Brian Kemp’s announcement that more than $1 billion in ARPA funds would be directed to the Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide cash assistance to qualifying Georgians, state officials say families are spending the money for basic needs and other purchases.
The program launched on Sept. 20 with recipients receiving up to $350.
Within the first three days, 272,873 Georgians on Medicaid, PeachCare for Kids®, SNAP, and/or TANF have received $95,505,550 and spent $30,090,461.42. Records indicate the top purchase categories are retail stores, utility bills, and grocery stores.
The funds can be used for online purchases or added to digital wallets for in-store use where accepted. The cash assistance cards cannot be used to buy alcohol, gamble, game, buy a money order, or transfer the balance to Apple Cash, Cash App, or Zelle, among other things listed in the cardholder agreement. Also, in-store Walmart purchases using the funds on Apple Pay will be declined since Walmart does not accept Apple Pay. The top two categories for declined transactions thus far are restricted purchases and attempts to convert the card to cash.
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