DHHS has a rule that limits Food Supplements for some people between the ages of 18 and 49. If the rule applies to you, you can only get benefits for 3 months during a 36 month period.
But the rule does not apply if you have minor children who DHHS counts as part of your "food supplements household." It also does not apply if you fit within one of these categories:
- Working or in an approved Food Supplement work or training program for at least 20 hours a week;
- Physically or mentally unable to work for at least 30 hours a week
- Taking care of a child under age 6 who lives with you, even if the child is not yours;
- Caring for an adult or child with a disability even if that person does not live with you;
- In a substance abuse treatment program;
- In an approved education program at least half time;
- Applying for or getting unemployment benefits;
- Getting disability benefits from a government or private source;
- Getting TANF and complying with a TANF work requirement; or
- Doing volunteer community service work.
What can I do if I got a cut-off notice?
If DHHS sends you a cut-off notice and you believe that their decision is wrong because one of these 10 descriptions applies to you, tell DHHS right away.
Maine Equal Justice Partners has posted this useful form that you can print off and fill out to show DHHS that you are exempt. It includes all of the information you will need, including where to mail your completed form. The form also tells you about additional information you may need to send to DHHS.
What if I am claiming a "medical exemption" because I am unable to work?
You will need to send in two forms.
- Request Form for Food Supplement Extension
- Medical Exemption Form (to be filled out and mailed to DHHS by your doctor or other medical provider)
What if I run into problems with these forms, or DHHS still denies me help?
MEJP posts more details about the new rule here (.pdf file)