Maine Families

Financial Assistance

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS): 1-800-432-7846
New! Calais Office: Open Thursdays 8:30a – 4p (closed for lunch 12:30 – 1:15),  5 Lowell Street, Calais
Machias Office: Monday – Friday 8:30a – 4p,  38 Prescott Drive, Machias

  • Alternative Aid – short-term support for families that do not have TANF that are working or looking for work
  • Emergency Assistance – benefits to families in emergency situations (evictions, utility terminations, & more)
  •  TANF – temporary funds while the family works toward being self-sufficient (must apply for TANF through FedCap. Call 271-4810 or visit 89 Court Street Machias, Mon-Fri 8a-5p)
  •  Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery (DHHS): 624-4100
    Enforce existing support orders, establish support orders for children of unmarried parents, update old orders of support

PLEASE NOTE: The ASPIRE & TANF programs have been outsourced from DHHS to FedCap.  If you have difficulties getting benefits during this transition contact Maine Equal Justice Partners, Karen Wyman for assistance at 1-866-626-7059, ext. 205 or kwyman@mejp.org (link sends e-mail).

Free Financial Coaching & Advice (through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau): 907-0152
Meet with a financial coach on issues from debt help, choosing student loans, avoiding foreclosure, starting up a business, retirement planning, etc…  Services are free to anyone in Washington County regardless of income.  Email: jconnors@afsc.com

General Assistance: Contact your local town office to apply
Emergency assistance for low income families

Indian Township Welfare: 796-2301
Financial assistance

Machias Food Pantry (Centre Street Church): 255-6665
Emergency assistance; Coats for Kids; Christmas Giving Tree

Maine Sea Coast Mission, Downeast Campus: 1-866-207-4010
Emergency assistance; clothing; crisis relief

Shaw Fund for Mariner’s Children: 990-1776
Short-term assistance to families who mainly make their living on the water fishing, lobstering, etc… (ship must be in US waters, sailing under US flag).  Families contact the Shaw fund, not providers, and need to have a copy of their 1099 form.  Assistance can be for oil, propane, back rent, utilities, car payments…

SSI Benefits for Infants: 1-800-772-1213
Disability benefits for premature babies or babies born with low birth-weight – this is called “Presumptive Disabilities” by SSI. Click on the link to learn more.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): 1-800-772-1213
SSI is for disabled people who do not have a past earnings record; SSDI is for people with recent earnings. You can also apply online (or appeal a decision) at their website

Veterans—Temporary Financial Assistance: 610-5924
Assistance with utilities, rent, child care, transportation, security deposits…for income eligible veterans