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Town of Falmouth, Maine
271 Falmouth Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
town@town.falmouth.me.us
(207) 781-5253

 
General Assistance
General Assistance


The Town of Falmouth has a General Assistance program for people in need.  This program provides confidential financial assistance to residents who are having difficulty meeting basic needs for housing, utilities and food.  The program is funded by local property taxes with 50% reimbursement from the state.  
If you are having difficulty meeting basic needs such as housing, utilities (electricity and heating fuel), and food, the town of Falmouth is required to take your application for General Assistance.  Applications will be taken at the Town Hall on Thursdays from 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM. Please call Valerie Fitzgerald at  207-699-5344 to schedule an appointment.

The Town is required to have someone available 24 hours a day to take applications in case of a life threatening situation. If this is an EMERGENCY and the office is closed, please call 807-2055.

The Town must issue a written decision regarding eligibility to all applicants within 24 hours of receiving a signed application with proper documentation.

If the Town of Falmouth refuses to take your application, or if you disagree with a decision that was made or have questions, you can call the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.  Their toll free number is 1-800-442-6003.  This phone is answered Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  If you call after 5:00 P.M., please leave a message with a phone number.  You will be contacted on the next business day.

Falmouth has an ordinance describing the rules for our General Assistance program.  You can see a copy at the Town Clerk’s Office or online at: www.town.falmouth.me.us/Pages/FalmouthME_Admin/Ordinances

You can also see a copy of the State’s General Assistance law at the Town Clerk’s office, or online at http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/22/title22ch1161sec0.html

This notice is posted pursuant to Maine law at:  Title 22 MRSA §§4304-4305.



What is General Assistance?

The general Assistance (GA) program in Maine is administered by each municipality in order to provide immediate help to eligible people who do not have enough money for basic needs, such as rent/mortgage, food, heating fuel, medications, non elective medical care and other items that are essential to maintain themselves or their families.
In order to receive GA, people must follow program rules and meet eligibility conditions.
GA is intended to help people who are in need and have nowhere else to turn. GA is a program of last resort.


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. Applications are taken on Thursday’s.
What to bring with you when you apply:
  • Your most recent bills and /or other proof of expenses including: rent/mortgage, heating fuel, electricity, food, medical expenses.
  • Cancelled checks, receipts, or other documents that show how you have spent your money and income the past 30 days.
  • Proof of all household income including : pay stubs, TANF, SSI and SSDI statements
  • Financial statements from all investment and bank accounts
  • Name and address of your landlord
  • Your driver’s license or other identification
  • Your Social Security number and the Social Security numbers of all members in your household
  • A doctor’s statement if you are ill, disabled, or not able to work
  • Insurance policies
  • Title and registration for any car, truck or recreational  vehicle you own
  
At the time an applicant receives a decision on their application, the administrator will inform them of their responsibilities 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 bills). Again, the amount of income from all sources received by the household must be provided. Additionally, the applicant must show that they have utilized all potential resources the administrator referred them to.
Am I required to work?
If you are unemployed or underemployed (working less than full time) but are able to work, you must:
  • Register for work at the Career Center
  • Actively look for work
  • Accept any job offer (paying at least minimum wage)
  • Participate in any no-cost training, retraining, educational or rehabilitative program that would help you get a job if referred to such a program by te administrator
  • Agree to perform and successfully complete work for the municipality if assigned to a “workfare” program



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 can require recipient to participate in training, education, or rehabilitative programs that will assist the recipient in securing employment.
At the time an applicant receives a decision on their application, the administrator will inform them of their responsibilities 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 bills). Again, the amount of income from all sources received by the household must be provided. Additionally, the applicant must show that they have utilized all potential resources the administrator referred them to.

General assistance is a program that encourages clients to do all they can to prevent needing future assistance. An applicant may be found ineligible to receive 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 effect the amount of eligibility); if a client forfeits a benefit ( subsidized housing, TANF, SSI, Food Stamps etc) this benefit will not be replaced; if a client quits a job without just cause, 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 representation about their eligibility; for not providing or permitting the administrator to gather the necessary verification and documentation as required; as well as others.
Remember that it is your responsibility to show that you are eligible.
Generally, general assistance is determined for a one to thirty day period only. If an applicant needs to apply for general assistance again, they are responsible for making sure they have met the requirements for the program for eligibility.

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 composed of individuals not involved in the decision to decide whether you are eligible for assistance. If you would like a Fair Hearing, you must request a hearing in writing within 5 working days of when you~receive your decision.
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 health and safety by the General Assistance Administrator.
Do I have to pay back the assistance I receive?
Yes. You are required to repay the municipality when you become financially able to do so. If the municipality makes a mortgage payment or pays for a capital improvement on your property, it may place a lien on your property in the Registry of Deeds. There is also an automatic lien against any Workers Compensation lump sum payment that you may receive. In addition, there is a process in place that is effectively a lien against any future Supplemental Security Income (SSI) retroactive benefit you may receive. If you have applied for SSI, the administrator will ask you to sign an agreement form that will result in the municipality and the Department of Human Services being paid back for all the GA issued to you after you applied for SSI. if you refuse to sign this form you will be denied General Assistance.






Food Pantry

Falmouth Food Pantry has relocated to the Town Hall in the space formerly occupied by the Falmouth Police Department.
 
The Falmouth Food Pantry has been serving the needs of Falmouth Citizens, as well as other Cumberland County residents, for over 25 years.
 
Four volunteer managers work with other volunteers to serve clients at the Pantry, bring meals to some clients, meet large food deliveries, and stock the shelves.
 
The Food Pantry regular hours every month are:
First and Third Monday - 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Second and Fourth Tuesday -10:00 am - 11:30 am
Second and Fourth Thursday - 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
 
The Pantry is not open on major holidays or school “Snow Days.”
 
If you need emergency assistance, please call 632-2687 or 781-2996.
 
Food and supplies may be dropped off at the Falmouth Food Pantry during operating hours, the Town Hall during business hours, or Falmouth churches.

Items currently needed:
      Cereals (both cold and hot)
       Canned meats and fish (i.e., spam, chicken, tuna fish)
       Canned soup (especially low sodium or “healthy”)
       Canned fruit (in juice or “light”)
 
 

Human Services Committee

The Town has a Human Services Committee. This committee reviews social service agency funding requests and makes determinations for funding on an annual basis.

Applications to apply for this funding are available on June 1st, and funds are approved on a fiscal year basis, starting on July 1 and ending June 30. Funding determinations are made in early fall. Please contact the Town Clerk’s office for more information on how to submit an application to the Human Services Committee.


If you have any questions, please contact
the Town Clerk's Office at (207) 781-5253.

 

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