The Town's General Assistance Administrator works with residents to determine if they qualify for General Assistance. Applications are reviewed on Wednesdays by appointment only. Please contact Bridget Pote during regular business hours at 384-3300 x 112 to make an appointment.
This state mandated program functions as a safety net to assist residents in the short term with basic necessitites (rent, electricity, heating fuel in the winter) to protect the well being of all residents in our community. Eligibility is determined according to income and expenditure guidelines established by Maine statute.
PLEASE NOTE: As of February 3, 2014 GA clients will be required to access the Electronic Verification System in order to provide income and benefit information.
This is your online connection to Food Supplement, Health Care, Cash Assistance and/or Child Care. To apply for benefits or re-certify your eligibility clients must sign up for an account. If you already have an account, sign in with your Username and Password. The GA Administrator will need the information from the DHHS Summary page to determine a client’s eligibility for General Assistance. Please print out this information and bring it with you to your appointment.
First time applicants are required to bring the following:
- Proof of all income for the past 30 days
- Proof of current expenses
- Copy of current bank statement(s)
- Copy of DHHS Summary Sheet from My Maine Connection
An applicant should not expect to be granted assistance at the first appointment. Other documentation and/or verifications may be identified during the first appointment and are required prior to a final determination.
Repeat applicants are required to bring all of the above in addition to receipts to prove how all income from the past 30 days was spent. Any funds spent on items not considered basic necessities will be considered misspent and added back to the applicants 30 day income as a penalty. Misspent income includes, but is not limited to: cigarettes, alcohol, pet food, gifts, credit card payments, cable TV and phone (unless medically required).
Repeat applicants who are unemployed are required to perform a weekly verifiable job search. Other resources may be identified to assist the applicant.
This program is administered in accordance with the Town Ordinance, DHHS policy and Maine State statute and is audited on a regular basis by DHHS.
- South Berwick Community Food Pantry: South Berwick is fortunate to have a Food Pantry for the benefit of our residents. In order to determine if you qualify to use the food pantry, please contact Bridget Pote at 384-3300 x 112. The Food Pantry is managed by a group of dedicated volunteers and operates as a program of SoBo Central. This is not a Town function. Income verification is confimed by the General Assistance Administrator solely to maintain client confidentiality.
- LiHEAP Fuel Assistance: Beginning August 15, 2013 call 324-5762, Option 8 to schedule your appointment or online at www.yccac.org. If you wish to apply in South Berwick you need to specify South Berwick when you call. Appointments fill up quickly, please do not delay if you believe you will need assistance this year.
- Keep South Berwick Warm Fund: This annual fundraiser provides a one time (100 gallons) fuel delivery to those residents who do not qualify for General Assistance, but are still found to have significant need. These funds are not available for disbursement until November 1st. To apply for these funds, the applicant must first apply for General Assistance with the Town's General Assistance Administrator. This fund is a program of SoBo Central.
- Tax Relief: The Maine Residents Property Tax and Rent Refund “Circuitbreaker” Program has been repealed as part of the enacted state budget for claims beginning on or after August 1, 2013. The Circuitbreaker Program has been replaced by a refundable Property Tax Fairness Credit that can be claimed on the Maine Individual Income Tax Form.
- The new credit will be available beginning in January, 2014 on the 2013 Maine Individual Income Tax Form 1040ME. A worksheet will be included with Form 1040ME to calculate the amount of the credit. For further information, click on the Tax Relief link above.