Assistance Programs in the State of Maine
The state of Maine has a population of 1.3 million with a poverty rate of 14%. The poverty rate among children is a lot higher at 18.7%. There are over 182 000 people in the state of Maine living in a state of poverty. There are many single parents and families struggling with bills and expenses who are in need of assistance. Fortunately Maine has many assistance programs available. This guide will list and explain the assistance programs available.
Financial Assistance in Maine
Many low income families are in need of financial assistance to help with basic expenses and bills. There are some financial assistance programs available in Maine.
Maine Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
The Maine TANF program provides financial assistance to families unable to financially support themselves. The money is to be used for necessary expenses and bills. This program also provides job training, helping parents find better employment to unable them to better support their families.
To be eligible for this program you must a legal resident of Maine, and either be pregnant or have a child under the age of 19 living in your household. To learn more about this program and to apply, check out the Maine TANF webpage.
Maine Unemployment Insurance (UI)
The Maine UI program provides temporary financial assistance payments to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The amount you will receive depends on the amounts you made with your most previous employer.
To learn more, and to apply, check out the Maine UI webpage.
Food Assistance in Maine
Some families struggle providing everyone in their household with the necessary and adequate foods to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are some useful food assistance programs available in Maine.
Maine Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Maine SNAP program provides nutritious food assistance benefits to those who are in need. The food benefits are received on a card that works similar to a debit card called a Maine EBT Card. Simply swipe the card when paying for groceries and you are good to go. Each month the card is loaded with additional funds.
Maine Special Supplemental Assistance for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The Maine WIC program provides nutrition assistance with food benefits, nutrition education, as well as health care and social service referrals to pregnant, postpartum women, and their children up to age 5. In order to be eligible for this program you must be considered low income, and be deemed at a nutritional risk by a health care provider.
Maine School Nutrition Breakfast and lunch Program
The Maine School Breakfast and Lunch Program provides free or low costs breakfasts’ and lunches to children while they are attending school. Your income levels depict whether or not the meals are free or reduced in price.
To be eligible for this program, you must meet the low income requirements. Your child might be automatically eligible for this program if your family is currently enrolled under the Maine TANF program. To apply for this program click here for contact information. To learn more about this program, check out the Maine Child Nutrition website.
Maine Food Banks
The state of Maine has many food banks located throughout the state. If you and your family are facing serious hunger issues, do not head to a food bank, as the food offered is free of charge. To locate a food bank near you check out this list of Maine Food Banks.
Medical Assistance in Maine
Medical costs are very expensive making it necessary for the low income to have health insurance. You can qualify easily for Medical coverage in Maine with MaineCare.
The MaineCare program is Maine’s version of Medicaid. MaineCare provides health insurance coverage to those who are of low income and do not have any medical health insurance. MaineCare covers a variety of health services which include:
- doctor’s visits
- prescription drugs
- lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
- hospital care
- eye care
- dental care
Medicaid eligibility in Maine is based on your income in relation to the number of people living in your household. Depending on you and your family’s specific situation, not all services will necessarily be covered, or some services might require you to pay a portion of the costs. To learn more about Medicaid including how to apply, check out the MaineCare webpage.
The MaineCare SCHIP program is the state’s health insurance program for children who do not qualify under Medicaid or any other program. MaineCare SCHIP covers all the same services that are covered under the primary MaineCare program. Pregnant women are also eligible under SCHIP.
Child Care Assistance in Maine
Child care costs are very high, making it difficult for low income single parents and families to afford full time child care. Some parents even have to stay home to care for their child and are unable to work because they can afford child costs. Fortunately, there are child care assistance programs available.
Child Care Subsidy Program
The Maine Child Care Subsidy Program provides child care assistance by helping the families pay for their child care costs. The amount that will be paid on your behalf depends on the number of children you have, as well as your income. In order to be eligible you must be of low income, and the parents have to either be working, or engaging in work training or schooling. To learn more and to apply, check out the Maine Child Care Program website.
Maine Head Start Program
The Maine Head Start Program provides child care assistance and helps the readiness of young children from the ages of 0-5 by developing their social and emotional skills in preparation for school. In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements.To learn more and to apply check out the Maine Head Start website.
Housing Assistance in Maine
Housing and rent costs are very expensive making it difficult for the low income to afford their rent payments. Fortunately, there are numerous housing and rental programs available.
Maine Low Income Public Housing Program
The Maine Low Income Public Housing Program provides residents of Maine with reduced rent payments in dwellings owned by the local Public Housing Agencies in your area of the state. Usually you will be placed in an apartment, however it can also be single houses or condos. The housing authorities receive funding from the state, who then use the funds to provide the low income with very low rent payments in safe and sanitary living conditions. To be eligible you must be of low income, usually around 50% of the median income in the area you live, however this is just a general guideline.
To begin the application process, you must go through your local Housing Agency. This list of Maine Public Housing Agencies provides an in depth list of all the Housing Agencies located across Maine. Once you find the Housing Agency in your area, you can contact them to find out the specific income guidelines required.
Maine Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Maine Housing Choice Voucher Program allows provides reduced rent costs, however with this program you are able to choose your own living arrangements. It can be difficult locating a well priced apparent that is safe and sanitary, so this program enables you to afford high quality apartments. Once you have chosen your home, the Housing Agency provides a voucher to your landlord which covers a good portion of your rent payments. You will only pay a portion of your total rent payment, usually 30-40% of the total rent cost.
To be eligible you must be of low income. To apply you must set up an appointment with your local Housing Agency where you will discuss your income, your rent costs etc.
Maine Affordable Apartment Search
The state of Maine offers a neat tool, that allows you to search for well prices apartments that are located in you area of the state. To use this tool, check out the Affordable Apartment locator.
Maine Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Maine Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides money to low income home owners to help them pay for their heating costs. There are 11 different community action programs that distributed the funds throughout Maine.
Maine Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The Maine WAP program provides financial repairs and also perform techniques to make homes more energy efficient. If you home is energy efficient it will result in lower energy bills saving the homeowner money.
In order to qualify, you must meet these low income requirements.
Maine First Time Home Buyers Programs
The state of Maine offers programs geared towards those looking to purchase their first home. The programs will offer down payment assistance up to 5%, offer help with closing costs, and help find a low mortgage rate. Check out the Maine Housing State Authority website for a list of Home Buyer Programs.
Transportation Assistance in Maine
Transportation costs can be costly to those who have to take taxi’s frequently. There are cheaper alternatives to taxis that will be explained below. Also you can also get free medical transportation in Maine.
Maine Non Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)
The Maine NEMT program provides free medical transportation to and from any doctors appointments, tests, or treatments that you have. To be eligible for this service, you must be enrolled under the MaineCare health plan. For a look at the number you would beed to call to set up a ride, you can visit the Maine NEMT webpage.
There are two driving services called Uber and Lyft that work like a taxi service, however ordinary people drive you where you need to go in their own vehicles. The prices are cheaper than taking a cab, saving you good money over time. Check out uber.com and lyft.com to learn more.
Legal Assistance in Maine
Legal costs and advice can be expensive making help inaccessible to the low income to receive legal help. Fortunately, the state of Maine offer some free legal services.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance
The Pin Tree Legal Assistance is a non profit organization that helps the low income with legal issues and provide legal advice .Many of the legal services provided helps with issues such as domestic violence, immigration issues, employment issues, evictions, family law and more. To learn more, check out the Pine Tree Legal Organization website.
Maine Community Law Center
The Maine Community Law Center is very similar to the Pine Tree Org, as it offers assistance to Maine residents however it is a bit different. This service offers legal services to residents who make to much money to for legal aid such as the Pine Tree Legal Assistance, but not enough for a full priced lawyer. To learn more about this program, visit the Maine Community Law Center website.
The state of Maine has many useful assistance programs in place to help out it’s residents when they are most in need. If you are of low income and struggling in any of the area’s mentioned in this guide, do not hesitate to apply, as the programs can really help you out.
Links and Resources
Find Local State Assistance Financial Help Programs for Single Mothers
Click on any one of the states below on the map (or via the table) to go to our local state assistance guide for that specific state