The General Assistance Program 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 Town's Ordinance and Maine State laws. General Assistance is intended to help people who are in need and have nowhere else to turn; it is a program of last resort. The municipality has the responsibility to assist eligible Norridgewock resident who are in need.
General Assistance gives help with basic necessities such as food, shelter, fuel, and electricity. We expect that recipients meet all eligibility requirements when we grant assistance. The General Assistance Administrator actively works with applicant to ensure that they make referrals with outside support agencies.
The Work Requirement
If an individual in unemployed, but able to work, he or she must do the following:
Register to work at the ME Job Service Career Center (www.mainecareercenter.com)
Actively look for work
Accept any suitable job offer
Participate in training or educational programs that would help them get a job, and still be available to work
If an individual does not comply with these work requirements, they may not be eligible to receive General Assistance.
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 for General Assistance. Also, an individual must use all resources that would diminish their need for General Assistance, such as:
TANF and any other government program
Federal Income Tax Returns
401(k) or other retirement accounts
Child support payments
Medical or rehabilitative programs
Support from legally liable relatives
What Happens When Assistance is Granted?
Within 24 hours after you apply for General Assistance, the Welfare/GA Administrator will issue you a written decision explaining why you are or are not granted Assistance. If you are eligible, you will receive the written decision, and vendors will be paid directly by the Town. When you are ineligible for assistance, you receive the decision in writing and are informed that you can challenge the decision by requesting a fair hearing. The GA Fair Hearing Authority (Board of Selectmen) presides over hearings appealing the decisions of the Welfare/GA Administrator.