General Assistance

General Assistance is a service administered by the Town utilizing state guidelines for the immediate aid of people who are unable to provide the basic necessities to maintain themselves or their families. This aid is not considered a gift or grant - but a loan. Recipients are expected to repay the monies paid on their behalf when their financial situation improves.

Applications are processed at the Town Office during regular business hours. Determination of eligibility in writing must be provided within 24 hours of application. In an emergency, a person may apply for assistance any time by contacting the Welfare Official. The emergency contact number is 207-479-6228 - please leave a message with your name, phone number, and emergency.

What can I get help with?

General assistance provides short-term help with the cost of basic necessities. It does NOT help pay bills which have already been incurred. Depending on individual circumstances, monies may be provided to pay: Food, Rent, or mortgage payments, Electricity, Heating fuel, Household & personal supplies. Telephone service is NOT considered a basic necessity under this program. Even if your phone service is disconnected due to lack of payment, 911 emergency service is retained.

What information do I need to bring with me?

The documentation which you need to bring with you when you apply for General Assistance includes: 

  • Names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of all members of your household
  • Name, age, and address information of relatives not living with you - including spouse, ex-spouse, parents, grandparents, and children's parents.
  • A list of your last 3 employers
  • If you are not working, the last day you worked & why you stopped working
  • If you have applied for General Assistance in the past, where & when
  • Banking information - including amounts in each account
  • Any investment information - including stocks, bonds, IRAs, 401Ks, & life insurance
  • Real estate information
    • Do you own property? If yes, where?
    • Tax status on this property
    • Mortgage information for this property
    • Assessed value
    • Names on the deed
    • If you rent, the name & address of your landlord, how many bedrooms, & type of hot water, amount of rent, & if utilities are included in the rent
  • Vehicle information
    • Year, make, model, & VIN
    • Is it registered?
    • Insurance information
    • Owner's name
  • Recreation vehicle information (ATVs, Boats, Snowmobiles, Campers, etc.)
    • Year, make, model, & VIN
    • Is it registered?
    • Insurance information
    • Owner's name
  • Income Types and Amounts - if you are a repeat applicant, you must attach documentation related to income for the last 30 days as well as what you anticipate over the next 30 days
  • What you spend your money on - if you are a repeat applicant, you must attach receipts for all monies spent over the last 30 days as well as indicating what you anticipate spending over the next 30 days.
  • Any other bills or debts which you may owe & their status.

What are the Current Income Guidelines?

General assistance income guidelines are based upon where one lives and the size of one's household. The maximum monthly income which a household can have in Dedham to qualify for general assistance changes yearly. Please contact the Town Office for more information.