What is the General Assistance Program?

It is a service administered for the aid of people who are unable to provide the basic necessities to maintain themselves or their families.

It provides a specific amount and type of aid for defined needs during a limited period and is not a continual categorical assistance program. General Assistance is administered in accordance with the City’s ordinance and Maine state law.

General Assistance gives help with basic necessities such as food, shelter, fuel, electricity, and medical services.

We expect that recipients meet all eligibility requirements when we grant assistance.

Caseworkers actively work with applicants to ensure that they make referrals with outside support agencies.

The Work Requirement

If an individual is unemployed, but able to work, he or she must do the following:

  • register to work
  • actively look for work
  • accept a suitable job offer
  • participate in training or educational programs that would help them get a job
  • agree to participate in the City’s workfare program

If an individual does not comply with these work requirements, they may not be eligible to receive General Assistance for 120 days. If an individual is working, but quits their job without just cause, they will be ineligible to receive assistance for 120 days. Also, if an individual is working, but is fired from their job for misconduct, they will be ineligible to receive assistance for 120 days.

The Importance of Utilizing Resources

It is important that a person use their income for basic necessities. When their income is enough to pay for their household expenses, but they spend it on items that are not essential, they will not be eligible.

Also, an individual must use all resources that would diminish their need for General Assistance.

  • TANF and any other government program
  • Trust funds
  • Support payments
  • Medical or rehabilitative programs
  • Support from legally liable relatives