Do I have to pay GA back?

Yes.  GA payments are loans.  Most counties require you to sign an agreement that you will repay it when you financial situation improves.  If you become eligible for SSI benefits because of a disability, the county can repay itself for GA benefits it paid to you from your SSI back payment. If you own a home, you must agree to a lien on your home. The lien allows the county to seek reimbursement for GA payments it makes to you if you later sell your home and there are proceeds from the sale.  The county might ask for the GA back or try to collect in other ways.  Before the county does that, they must determine if you can repay based on the income you have.  If you cannot repay based on the income you have the county cannot make you repay until you can afford to. 

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