General Assistance Program
What is General Assistance?
General Assistance (GA) is a program of last resort – it is the “safety net” intended to help those people who have no other resources.
General Assistance (GA) is a “service administered by a municipality for the immediate aid of persons who are unable to provide the basic necessities essential to maintain themselves or their families. GA is intended to provide immediate aid, thus assistance must be granted or denied within 24 hours of an application. It is for people are unable – not unwilling – to maintain themselves or their families. Finally, GA is intended to help people with basic necessities: food, shelter, utilities, fuel, clothing, and certain other items, when they are essential.
Notice of the Right to Apply
The municipality of KENNEBUNK administers a General Assistance program for residents in need. Pursuant to Title 22 M.R.S.A. § 4305, the municipal officers have adopted an ordinance (PDF) establishing that program. A paper copy of this ordinance and relevant statutes is available for public inspection in the General Assistance Office and/or in the Town Clerk’s Office.
- Residents who wish to apply for General Assistance may do so by calling the General Assistance Office at 207-985-2102 x1394 to schedule an appointment.
- General Assistance applications are then processed in-person by appointment during normal Town Hall hours Monday – Friday 8AM – 4:30PM.
- In an emergency, applicants may contact the Kennebunk Police Department by calling the Sanford Regional Communications Center at 911 and a dispatcher will assist you.
The municipality’s General Assistance administrator must issue a written decision regarding eligibility to all applicants within 24 hours of receiving an application. The Department of Health & Human Services toll-free telephone number, to call with a question regarding the General Assistance Program, is 1-800-442-6003. This notice is posted pursuant to Title 22 M.R.S.A. § 4304-4305.
What documents should I bring with me to my appointment?
- Once your appointment is scheduled, you will be emailed an Appointment Reminder Checklist (PDF) so you can arrive prepared. That document serves as written notice of your appointment date and time, notice of the GA Administrator’s responsibilities, the Applicant’s responsibilities and offers a checklist of documents needed for verification during the interview.
What are my responsibilities as an applicant for GA?
- Maintaining open and honest communication with the GA Admin.
- Notifying the GA Admin if there are changes in circumstances which may affect their eligibility.
- Providing complete and accurate information.
- Providing written documentation required to complete the GA application.
- Making every effort to use potential resources such as government and state assistance programs, local non-profit organizations and any personal assets.
If I qualify for the GA Program, how do I receive the money?
- General Assistance is a voucher-only-program. This means that no cash or debit cards are given in the amount you were approved for. The GA Admin will work with the provider who will receive funds on your behalf (landlord, utility company, etc…) to give them a voucher which promises payment from the Town directly to them as the vendor.
The information concerning your request for assistance including the application and all supporting documents is strictly confidential. You, your attorney, the GA Administrator and certain government personnel may review your records but the general public may not review your records unless you have given your express permission.