A lawsuit is challenging the state Legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf's termination of a cash assistance program for the poorest Pennsylvanians.

General Assistance, a program that provides a monthly benefit of about $205 to more than 11,000 people, is set to end next week.

The lawsuit, which seeks an injunction before the program ends, was filed Monday in Commonwealth Court by advocacy groups Community Legal Services and Disability Rights Pennsylvania.

Legislators voted to eliminate the program — and the governor signed the bill into law last month — as part of the state budget process. Wolf had said he supported keeping the program, but its elimination was tied to hospital funding in the bill legislators passed, making it politically difficult for him to veto.

The litigation, Weeks v. Department of Human Services, asserts that this maneuver — combining these unrelated issues into one bill — was unconstitutional.

The ending of the program was controversial. Last month, the issue became the subject of a verbal and procedural battle on the floor of the state Senate, and video of the dispute went viral, attracting national attention.

General Assistance was ended once before in 2012 by legislators and then-Gov. Tom Corbett, but was resurrected following a years-long legal battle that ended after the state Supreme Court ruled the legislation ending the program was unconstitutional.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling last year, Wolf’s administration reinstated the program, and it has been operating since. Because of the legislation passed last month and signed by Wolf, it is set to end Aug. 1.

About 11,000 people are enrolled in the program statewide.

Advocates for the program had argued it aided people who often did not qualify for other cash assistance programs in buying items such as toiletries or paying bus fare. Legislators who voted to eliminate it had said they did not believe the program was accountable and was subject to fraud.

Scott Marshall, 52, of Pittsburgh, said receiving General Assistance since last year has helped him pay for things like medicine and to live at Wood Street Commons. Like many people in the program, he has applied for federal disability assistance, which can be a lengthy process.

"I don’t know what I’m going to do when my assistance ends; I don’t know,” he said.

Marshall is not a named plaintiff in the litigation, but the lawsuit is seeking class-action status on behalf of all General Assistance recipients.

“When General Assistance ends, our clients and other people statewide who are struggling to get by will have to go without the basic necessities that General Assistance supports: keeping a roof over their heads; buying deodorant, soap, and toiletries; doing laundry; or being able to take a bus to keep an appointment," Maria Pulzetti, staff attorney at Philadelphia-based CLS, said in a statement.

In addition to statements from plaintiffs Jasmine Weeks, Vanessa Williams, Arnell Howard, and Patricia Shallick, court documents filed Monday also include declarations in support of the request for a preliminary injunction from a number of organizations, including Pittsburgh-based Just Harvest, and Marc Cherna, director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.

State Department of Human Services officials could not be reached Monday for comment.