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General Assistance

General Assistance/Welfare Director - 207-636-2843 Ext. 0 - Michelle Rumney
Office Hours Monday- Friday 8am - 4pm - Appointments are necessary.


General Assistance helps individuals and families to meet their basic needs. This may include help paying for:

  • Household or personal supplies (toiletries, cleaning supplies)
  • Food
  • Housing (e.g., mortgage, rent, room rent, temporary housing)
  • Fuel & utilities
  • Medical, dental, prescriptions, medical supplies/equipment
  • Burial costs
  Eligibility has to be determined with 24 hours of the application being completed. 

How to apply - you must call the Shapleigh Town Hall General Assistance office which is ext 0 to schedule an appointment.  You may download the GA application and fill out prior to your appointment.  You will find the application at the bottom of this page. 

What to bring with you when you apply GA: 

Your budget - this will be based on the following 30 days following your completed application.  The GA Administrator will also look back to 30 days before you applied to see what money you received and how you spent it. 

The Administrator will need to see:

  • Your most recent bills and or proof of expenses including rent/mortgage, heating fuel, electric bill, food and other basic necessities.
  • Cancelled checks, receipts, or other documents that show hoe you have spend your money and income for the past 30 days.
  • Your driver's license or other documentation to proof identity.
  • Your social security number and SS number for all members of your household
  • Work related expenses

Name, Address and telephone number of your landlord.  A copy of your rental agreement.

A doctor's statement if you are ill, disabled or not able to work

Proof of all household income including:  wages, cash on hand, income tax refunds, unemployment  benefits, child support benefits, TANF benefits, SS benefits, SSI/SSDI disability benefits, checking/savings, Veteran's pensions, Rental income, WC Compensation, savings bonds, life insurance, retirement account, school loans, assistance from relatives, Self employment income and financial resources car/recreational vehicles and real estate holdings.

When Assistance is Granted:

The GA administrator will determine your eligibility based on whether your countable income is less than your necessary expenses and the program's income maximum.  Countable income is your actual income minus all of your work related expenses.

The GA administrator must issue a written decision within 24 hours of receiving a completed application.  If you have not provided all the information needed to determine your eligibility you may be notified you are ineligible until the information is provided.  If you are found eligible assistance will be granted promptly.


With the exception of "first time" applicants, anyone applying for General Assistance must document their use of income.  Current receipts showing how income has been spent are required.  Only receipts for basic necessities are considered allowed expenses, which include but are not limited to food, rent, heating fuel, utilities, medication and work related expenses.   

Work Requirement:

If you are unemployed or underemployed (working less than full time) but you are able to work, you must:  Register for work at the Career Center Actively look for work.  Accept any job offer ( paying at least minimum wage).  Participate in any no-cost training, retraining, educational or rehabilitative program that would help you get a job.  If referred to such a program by the administrator; and agree to perform and successfully complete work for the municipality if assigned to "workfare program".  

Use of Potential Resources:

The Town can direct you in writing to apply for resources such as TANF, Food Stamps, HEAP, SSI, Social Security disability, child support and other public programs.   The Town of Shapleigh can also tell you in writing to get medical treatment or got to rehabilitation that is free.  You will be allowed 7 days to show you applied for these resources.

Quitting Work or Getting Fired:

If you have been working but quit your job without a good reason or you get fired from your job for misconduct, you are automatically ineligible to receive GA for 120 days from the date of separation from your employment.


If the administrator finds out that you have not told the truth, you will be disqualified from receiving GA for 120 days.  In addition, the administrator may refer your case over to the police department or District Attorney's office for committing GA fraud, which is a Class E crime.  the administrator does not want to disqualify you or get you into trouble with the law, so make sure to always tell the truth when you apply for GA.


The information concerning your request for assistance, including the application, budget sheet, decision, and other information regarding your case is strictly confidential.  you, your attorney, the administrator, and certain government personnel may review your records unless you have given your permission.

GA Application - click here to print.

OTHER Resources:

LIHEAP/HEAP Fuel Assistance Program:  Administered through York County Community Action:    Click here for more information

ELP  Electricity Lifeline Program:  Administered through York County Community Acton:  Click here for more information

The State Property Tax Deferral Program: is a lifeline loan program that can cover the annual property tax bills of Maine people who are ages 65 and older or are permanently disabled and who cannot afford to pay them on their own. The loan program allows Maine’s most vulnerable community members to age in place and ensures that property taxes are still delivered to municipalities, requiring repayment of the loan once the property is sold or becomes part of an estate.  For more information, please visit Maine Revenue Service at:  State Property Tax Deferral Program | Maine Revenue Services 

Shapleigh Food Pantry: (located in the lower level of the Shapleigh First Baptist Church- 600 Shapleigh Corner Road)
Open Wednesday evenings 6:00pm-7:00pm (207) 636-4100