General Assistance Administrators

What is the role of the Municipality?

The municipality must have a municipal official designated to receive applications, make decisions concerning an applicant’s right to receive assistance, and prepare records and communications concerning assistance. He or she may be an elected overseer or an authorized agent such as a town manager, welfare director or caseworker.  The municipality shall have posted notice to state the hours during which a General Assistance Administrator is available to take applications, as well as the contact information of an individual who is available to do so at all other times during which the General Assistance Administrator is not available. The posted notice should also include the availability of the General Assistance statutes and ordinance

What is the role of the General Assistance Administrator?

The role of the General Assistance Administrator is to provide a service (General Assistance) to applicants who are unable to meet their own basic necessities due to lack of income or resources available to them.  The Administrator will take applications for assistance, provide written decisions and vouchers for assistance when applicable, keep complete and accurate records, and maintain client confidentiality.

What information needs to be kept when a person applies for assistance?

The General Assistance Administrator must keep confidential case records of each application for General Assistance.  Case records must include applications, a copy of the written decision issued within 24 hours of application, narrative statements, and any other information pertinent to the case, including but not limited to the applicant’s identification, income verifications, employment verifications, bank statements, and Social Security documents.

What if I don’t have enough information to determine eligibility?

If an Administrator does not have enough information to determine eligibility, the administrator must determine whether the applicant has an emergency situation that cannot wait until the following business day.  If the applicant has an emergency that the applicant could not have prevented, and the delay of assistance would create further expense or hardship for the client or the municipality, the Administrator should issue assistance to cure the applicant’s emergency until the following business day, at which time full eligibility can be determined. If the applicant does not have an emergency, the Administrator shall issue a notice of denial and state that the denial is due to lack of information. The Administrator shall provide the applicant with a list of verifications required to determine eligibility.

An applicant is eligible for assistance, now what?

If an Administrator determines that an applicant is eligible for assistance, the Administrator shall issue assistance to the applicant via voucher payment.  The Administrator should have an agreement with local businesses vendors (grocery store, pharmacy, landlords etc.) to provide voucher payment on behalf of an eligible client.  The Administrator shall issue a decision of eligibility, which should include requirements for future eligibility.  When the vendor receives the municipal General Assistance voucher, that vendor should return the voucher to the municipality for payment.

What if I have more questions?

For questions regarding the eligibility of General Assistance applicants, the application process, or any other question related to the administration of the General Assistance program, Administrators may contact the General Assistance Hotline at 1-800-442-6003.  Please leave a message on the hotline and your call will be returned as soon as possible by a General Assistance Field Examiner.