Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I apply for general assistance?
What do I need to do to qualify for general assistance?
What can general assistance assist with?
Can the town help me to secure housing?
What is workfare?
What do I need to do to be eligible for future assistance?
What would cause me to be ineligible or disqualified from the program?
How often can I apply for assistance?
What if I disagree with the decision of the administrator?

How can I apply for general assistance?
People wishing to apply for assistance should call the Department to schedule an appointment. Each person needs to complete an application in order to determine eligibility.

How do I qualify for general assistance?
Each applicant is responsible for providing the general assistance administrator with the information necessary to determine eligibility. This includes information verifying members of the household, and documentation of all sources of income received by the household (salary, child support, workers compensation benefits, unemployment, SSI, SSDI, social security, as well as any money received from family members, tax returns, etc.). Additionally, applicants need to provide documentation of their expenses for basic necessities (these include housing, heat, electricity, water, sewer, food, phone when medically necessary, prescriptions, etc.) and work-related expenses (child care expenses, transportation to work). The administrator will make a determination of eligibility based on the overall maximums allowed by the State and the municipality. Clients will receive a decision sheet showing whether or not they are eligible for assistance and what they will need to do to be eligible for future assistance. If there is a household member who is available to work, the administrator will schedule a workfare assignment, which may need to be completed prior to the issuance of any assistance.

Back To Top

What can general assistance help me with?
The town will grant assistance to eligible applicants for basic necessities according to the maximum levels for specific types of assistance. Basic necessities include housing, heat, LP Gas, electricity, food, personal and household supplies, and other basic necessities when they are deemed essential to an applicant’s or recipient’s health and safety by the general administrator.

Can the Town help me to secure housing?
The Town does not own any housing of its own, but usually recommends that those looking for affordable housing contact the Brunswick Housing Authority (725-8711) and Bath Housing Authority (443-3116) as well as checking the local papers.

Back To Top

What is workfare?
Each applicant and any member of the household who is capable of working may be required to perform work for the municipality, including work for a non-profit organization, as a condition of receiving assistance. As part of the municipal work program, the municipality may require recipients to participate in training, education, or rehabilitative programs that will assist the recipient in securing employment.

What do I need to do to be eligible for future assistance?
At the time an applicant receives a decision on his or her application, the administrator will inform the person of the requirements for being eligible in the future. Once applying for general assistance, all clients, regardless of whether or not they received any benefits, are responsible for showing that they have done all they can to prevent needing general assistance again. This includes providing documentation (receipts) of all their spending over the past thirty days (or longer if they are seeking assistance with back due bills). Again, the amount of income from all sources received by the household must be provided. Additionally, the applicant must show that he or she has utilized all potential resources referred to them by the administrator.

Back To Top

What would cause me to be ineligible or disqualified from the program?
General Assistance is a program that encourages clients to do all they can to prevent needing future assistance. Applicants may be disqualified from receiving general assistance if they misspend their money on items that are not considered basic necessities (this will count as money that is still available to the household and will affect the amount of eligibility); if a client quits a job without just cause, he or she is disqualified from receiving assistance for a 120 day period; if a client forfeits a benefit, this benefit will not be replaced. Other grounds for ineligibility include failing to perform or complete a workfare assignment; willfully making a false representation about your eligibility; not providing or permitting the administrator to gather the necessary verification and documentation as required; and others.

How often can I apply for assistance?
Generally, general assistance is determined for a one- to thirty-day period only. If an applicant needs to apply for general assistance again, he or she is responsible for making sure to have met the requirements for eligibility.

What if I disagree with the decision of the administrator?
If you disagree with the decision, you should discuss the matter with the administrator. All applicants have the right to request a Fair Hearing, which would be before a Board composed of individuals not involved in deciding whether you are eligible for assistance. If you would like a Fair Hearing, you must request it in writing within five working days of receiving your decision.

Back To Top