General Assistance

General Assistance is a hand up not a hand out. The General Assistance Program provides help to eligible Machias resident’s who do not have enough money for current basic needs such as rent/mortgage, food, heating fuel, non-elective medical needs and other goods or services essential to maintain themselves or their families. The Town of Machias is committed to assisting people to become self sufficient and contributing to the community, through employment and education.

Who Qualifies for General Assistance?

Individuals and families may be eligible for help from this fund if your living costs are more than the money you currently have or if your expenses are higher than the income you can earn.

How to Apply for General Assistance

All of the adults in the household must fill out a General Assistance Application and make an appointment with the Town Manager. The Town Manager will interview all of the adults in the household and complete an application.

General Assistance Application
General Assistance Informational Packet

Applicants must provide proof of identification for themselves and all household members (i.e. driver’s license, birth certificate, social security card, etc.). Proof of all household income must also be provided. Income and financial resources are not limited to net wages from jobs. Additional income sources include:

  • Cash on hand
  • Income tax refunds
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Child support benefits
  • TANF benefits
  • Social Security Benefits
  • SSI / SSDI Disability benefits
  • Checking / Savings
  • Veteran’s pensions
  • Rental income
  • Loans
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Savings bonds
  • Trust funds annuity
  • Life insurance policies
  • Retirement accounts
  • School loans
  • Financial resources
  • Car / Recreational vehicles
  • Real estate holdings

Applicants must also supply:

  • Proof of current expenses
  • Name of Landlord and lease agreement
  • Current eviction or disconnection notice
  • Statement from a doctor (if you are unable to work)
  • Applicants are required to seek any and all resources that would reduce their need for

General Assistance. Resources include:

  • Benefits such as SSD, SSDI
  • DHHS benefits (SNAP, MaineCare, TANF, and Aspire)
  • Heating assistance
  • Child Support
  • Money from others or bills paid by others on your behalf
  • Lump sum payments, such as Workers’ Compensation or SSI
  • Financial aid for school
  • Land claim settlements

We will issue you a written decision as to your eligibility within 24 hours after you apply and we will promptly furnish any assistance for which you are determined eligible within our guidelines.  However, please be aware that if you have not furnished sufficient information (including verification required) to enable us to determine your eligibility, we must consider your application incomplete and find you ineligible for any assistance until you reapply with adequate information.  You can reapply at any time.

General Assistance law requires that able-bodied individuals participate in a work program as a condition of receiving financial assistance. Participants must complete a weekly JobSearch/Employment Verification form.

Emergency Assistance Program

Emergency Assistance provides benefits to families with children in some situations when the family is threatened by destitution or homelessness due to an emergency situation. These situations include fire, other natural disasters, termination of utility service, evictions, or lack of adequate shelter.

For More information: Family Independence, An Office of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.