Maine Food Supplement Estimators
News Flash! August 9, 2012 – Did you get a letter from DHHS in July telling you that you have been overpaid Food Supplement benefits? DHHS overpaid many people by over-counting the“Utility Allowance” deduction. This was not your fault; it was “agency error.” You do not have to do anything in response to this notice.
September 27, 2012 update - The federal government has determined that you will not have repay these overpayments. However, Maine DHHS has appealed their decision to charge the state for this money. Stay tuned. Read more here.
The links below will take you to a national legal services "automated documents" website: LawHelp Interactive. There we have created a streamlined interview. It will ask you a few questions about your household make-up and income. When you're done, you will get an estimate of the dollar amount you could receive each month, to help you buy food, if you are otherwise eligible. Read more important details on using the estimator tool
NOTE: You will need to use Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. Our apologies to Macintosh and Firefox users. You can still use our older .pdf interactive forms (see Option 3 below).
Use our "short forms." The document you generate will tell you the information you entered and the estimated amount of food supplements for a household your size.
- For households WITH NO elderly or disabled member (updated October 2012).
- For households WITH an elderly or disabled member (updated October 2012).
Use our "long forms." You can use the same program to print out a 6-page form that shows all of the calculations used.
- For households WITH NO elderly or disabled member (updated for October 2012).
- For households WITH an elderly or disabled member (updated for October 2012).
Use our older self-calculating .pdf estimators if you prefer.
- For households WITH NO elderly or disabled member (updated October 2012)
- For households WITH an elderly or disabled member (updated October 2012)
If you fill them out online, they will do the calculations for you. Or your can print them and do the calculations by hand.
What these Estimators do - and don't do.
Two eligibility tests:
- Income, and
This calculator will help you to estimate the amount of the monthly food supplement you can get, based on your household size and income. To qualify you may also be subject to an "asset test." Read more about how DHHS counts assets for this program. And there are other non-financial eligibility tests that are too numerous to mention here.
If I think I qualify, how do I apply?
You can apply online at My Maine Connection.
If you need help in person or by phone, try contacting your local DHHS office.
What if I'm not sure about some of my answers to the Estimator questions?
More information about food supplement program rules (MEJP website)
Maine Food Supplement Program (DHHS page) includes link to application form
The Estimator is just that; it only estimates your benefit amount. If your monthly income and household size are simple to define, the Estimator may come up with the exact amount of your food supplement grant. But in some cases, more complicated rules apply. It may not be clear at first who belongs to the food supplement household or how income should be counted.
For example, if your household includes boarders or unrelated roommates, or your income is from self-employment or seasonal work, you will probably need to consult with a DHHS worker about how the rules apply to you. Also, if you are homeless but expect to be incurring shelter costs within the month, these estimators will not calculate that. The full set of Maine's Food Supplement Program rules are published online. If you run into problems or have more questions about your eligibility, contact Pine Tree Legal Assistance.
Some college students can qualify for Food Supplements. Read more.
How does the online Estimator work and how private is it?
When you get to the LawHelp Interactive site, if you don't care about saving your information online, choose the "go directly to form" option. Answer the questions. When you get to the end of the interview, you can view a document that repeats your answers and gives you a monthly benefit estimate. You can also print it.
Use the "register" option if you want to save your information and come back to it later. You will also be able to view and print your document.
If you have problems, comments or ideas about how to make these automated forms work better, please let us know by using the feedback form at the bottom of any page.
Learn more about the national LawHelp Interactive project by going to the site's Frequently Asked Questions page (or link to these FAQ's from any page on the site after you go there).
Updated October 2012