Self Help Tools
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Health & Public Benefits
Published and up-to-date as of 5/27/2020 What is the stimulus check? As part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, the federal government will issue payments - by check or direct deposit - to millions of income-qualified Americans.
NOTE: This information is offered by the IRS for Tax Year 2017. This includes both rules for making the payment (if you don't have health insurance) and rules about who is "exempt" (does not have to pay). Many people with very low incomes and people with certain immigrant statuses do not have to pay.
Some low income people are eligible for Mainecare. Most other people with low incomes can get help paying for health insurance. The IRS gives instant tax credits to help with the cost. There are many places to get help finding health insurance:
This year, you won’t have to worry about losing your benefits if you get a big tax refund. Starting in 2011, any tax refunds you get will not affect most public benefits, or how much you get! Under the law passed in December 2010:
LIHEAP funding continues to be lower than in previous years. This will mean that more households will be turning to local heating assistance programs after their LIHEAP money runs out. Here is a summary of the programs we know about - followed by information about how to access local programs.
General assistance (called GA after this) is a program run by every town to help people who don't have enough money to pay their necessary expenses. You may be eligible if your basic living costs are more than the money you have or can earn.
It is not easy to balance a household budget when you have a low income. But you can supplement your income by claiming all of the benefits and supports you have the right to claim. Here is a checklist. Make sure you are not leaving money on the table!