General Assistance

Applying for Assistance

If you need help, your city or town is required to take your application for General Assistance. Applications will be taken at the Town Offices at the following times: Wednesday - 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Your city or town is required to have someone available 24 hours a day to take applications in an emergency. If this is an emergency and the office is closed contact Public Safety at 207-866-4000.
Your city or town must give you a written decision within 24 hours of receiving your application for General Assistance.
If your city or town refuses to take your application, or if you disagree with a decision that was made or have questions, you can call the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Their toll free number is 800-442-6003. Their phone is answered Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. If you call after 5 p.m., leave a message with a phone number. You will be contacted on the next business day.

What is General Assistance?

Each municipality in the State of Maine is required to administer a general assistance (GA) program to assist with the cost of basic necessities for its neediest residents.  Every resident has the right to 
apply and be treated with respect during the application process. GA is meant as emergency assistance.  Typically, you will only be awarded monies if your total income falls below pre-determined ME Dept of Health and Human Services guidelines. 
Or, if you are facing an emergency situation, only if your income, when compared to the cost of your basic necessities (as defined by GA guidelines), is found to be inadequate. If any portion of your income was spent on non-basic items, or if there are other resources available to you, your award amount could be reduced or denied. General Assistance is a program of DHHS and findings are reported to them. Therefore, if you are disqualified from GA, it could jeopardize your eligibility for other DHHS programs.


Assistance Ordinance


The Town of Orono and the State of Maine has an ordinance describing the rules for its General Assistance program. You can see a copy at the Town Offices. You can also see a copy of the State's General Assistance law at this same place.
  • This notice is posted pursuant to Maine law at Title 22 MRSA 4304-4305
  • Make an appointment of General Assistance at the Town Offices or by calling 207-866-2556
  • Walk-ins will be seen on a case-by-case basis.
If you have an appointment and are wondering about the process or how to prepare, please view the following brochure: How to Brochure (PDF)

A hard copy can be picked up in the Orono Town Office during business hours.