General Assistance is a program that encourages clients to do all they can to self-sustain and prevent needing future assistance. An applicant may be found ineligible to receive general assistance if they: misspend their income 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 forfeits a benefit, this benefit will not be replaced; if a client quits a job without cause or is fired from a job, they are disqualified from receiving assistance for a 120 day period; for failing to perform or complete a workfare assignment; for willfully making a false representational about their eligibility; for not providing or permitting the administrator to gather the necessary verification and documentation as required; as well as others.
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To apply for General Assistance, call 207-591-7015 to schedule an appointment. Phone calls are returned in the order in which they are received. Each person needs to complete an application in order to determine eligibility. Appointments are required. Office hours are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Signed lease / rental agreement, current bank statement, proof of household income & expenses, employment verification / paystubs, medical statement if unable to work, photo ID, passport & immigration papers if applicable, social security cards for all household members, correspondence from Social Security / DHHS
Each applicant is responsible for providing the General Assistance Administrator all information necessary to determine eligibility. This includes information verifying members of the household, documentation of all sources of income received in the household (salary, child support, workers compensation benefits, unemployment, SSI, SSDI, social security, TANF, tax returns, money received from family members, etc.). Additionally, applicants must provide documentation of their expenses for basic necessities (housing, heat, electricity, food, non-food, prescriptions, etc.) and work related expenses (childcare and transportation to work). The administrator will make a determination of eligibility based on the overall maximums allowed by the State and municipality. Clients will receive a decision sheet indicating eligibility or ineligibility. If a household member is available to work, a job search log will be provided and consideration for Workfare.
The City will grant assistance to eligible applicants for basic necessities according to the maximum levels for specific types of assistance. Basic necessities include shelter, rent, utilities (electricity, heat), food, personal care and household supplies and prescription medication.
If interested in subsidized affordable housing, please contact Westbrook Housing at 207-854-9779. You may need to place your name on their list and also for Section 8 housing. We have a list of landlords in the waiting area of the Community Center office that work with the General Assistance program in the City of Westbrook. The list is not all inclusive and you may want to check with additional landlords, Craigslist and Maine Housing Search.
Each applicant and any member of the household who is capable of working may be required to perform work for the municipality as a condition of receiving assistance. As part of the municipal work program, the municipality can require recipients to participate in training, education or rehabilitative programs that will assist recipients in securing employment.
At the time an applicant receives a decision on their application, the administrator will inform the applicant of future responsibilities for consideration of future eligibility. 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, all income received in past thirty days, and have utilized all potential resources the manager referred them to.
Generally, General Assistance is determined for a temporary period only. If an applicant needs to apply for General Assistance again, responsibility falls on the client to make sure requirements are met. An applicant may apply once every thirty days, unless deemed ineligible.
If you disagree with the decision, applicants should discuss the matter with the Administrator. All applicants have the right to request a Fair Hearing which would provide the applicant with a Board not involved in the decision to decide whether you are eligible for assistance. If you would like to request a Fair Hearing, you must make the request in writing within five working days of the decision.
This program is administered in accordance with the standard of eligibility as provided in 22 M.R.SA., Chapter 1161.