Maine’s economy has become increasingly dependent on services, along the 20th century, while the traditional industry, the manufacture of paper and paper products, has declined. Fishing, forestry, mining, and agriculture is the second most important sector.
Since the mid-1950s, the state government has promoted an active economic development program through the Department of Economic and Community Development. Public and private agencies have combined to form the Finance Authority of Maine and the Maine Municipal Bond Bank to encourage investment and provide loan guarantees. The state also has used the services and financial assistance of the federal Economic Development Administration and of the Small Business Administration.
As in the rest of the United States, authorities in Maine have created programs especially designed for single mothers. These also help the state’s low-income population. Following, you will find several of them in details:
Health programs in Maine
MaineCare, Maine’s Medicaid program, is a state and federally funded program that provides health care coverage for eligible individuals and families. MaineCare is available to people who meet the income guidelines and are eligible based on age, family situations, and health care needs.
The Office for Family Independence (OFI) determines MaineCare eligibility. OFI is an office of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Eligibility is based on income, age, family situation, and needs. To find out whether you may be eligible for MaineCare, please refer to the eligibility guidelines.
Applications for MaineCare are processed by the Department’s Office for Family Independence. You can apply online on My Maine Connection to apply for services, complete recertifications, review case information, submit changes, or view your benefit history for the past 12 months.
By mail - MaineCare Application (Word) – This is the application for all MaineCare programs, including State Supplement, Medicare Savings Program (Buy-In), Family Planning Services, and Prescription Help (MaineRx & Low Cost Drugs for the Elderly). Mail the completed application to: 114 Corn Shop Lane, Farmington, ME 04938.
In person - Visit a local DHHS OFI office to apply in person. OFI offices are located throughout the state. To find your nearest office, visit the Office Finder webpage.
MaineCare benefits are administered by the Office of MaineCare Services. MaineCare pays for medically necessary services, and the services that are covered depends on your MaineCare eligibility category. For more information about covered services and benefit packages, please review the MaineCare Member Handbook. Additional resources that may be helpful for new or potential MaineCare members can be found on MaineCare Member webpage.
Maine Child Care Subsidy Program
The Child Care Subsidy Program helps eligible families to pay for child care so they can work, go to school or participate in a job training program. Eligible families must meet the income guidelines established here, and at least, participate in one of the following activities:
- job training program
To apply for Maine Child Care Subsidy, you can do it using one of these ways:
- At local DHHS office (Office of Family Independence-OFI)
- Online at www.maine.gov/MyMaineConnection
Once you are determined financially eligible, you must complete the Child Care Subsidy Program Application (you can get this from OFI or OCFS) and return it to the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS):
- Fax: 207-287-6308
- Email: CCSP.DHHS@maine.gov
- Mail: 2 Anthony Avenue SHS#11 Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Once you are determined to be program eligible, and the provider you choose is approved, payments will be made directly to your provider on your behalf.
MaineHousing’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
MaineHousing’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program provides rental assistance to income-eligible tenants by subsidizing a portion of their monthly rent and utilities and paying it directly to their landlords. Where utilities are not included in rent, the program may pay a larger portion of the rent so that the tenant is able to cover utility payments.
The assistance provided is the difference between what the tenant pays toward rent (generally 30 – 40% of the household’s adjusted gross income) and the cost of the rent. This program helps more than 3,800 low-income Maine households each month.
To apply to this program and be eligible for it, you must know and understand the household income restrictions ; they apply and vary by location and family size.
When awarding vouchers, MaineHousing gives priority to Maine people who are homeless.
You may be denied a voucher as a result of criminal activity, alcohol abuse, or other reasons. Vouchers may also be denied if you owe money to MaineHousing or another housing authority, unless you have entered into and are complying with a repayment agreement.
A housing choice voucher can be used for any type of private rental housing that meets certain housing quality inspection standards, provided the owner accepts you as a tenant. Landlords retain normal management rights and responsibilities, including: tenant selection, collecting the tenant’s share of the rent, property management, and lease termination. Rent must be within the limits allowed by the program. Please visit https://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/rental for more information.
If you receive a Housing Choice Voucher from MaineHousing, are able to work, and want to be self-sufficient, you also may be eligible for the Family Self-Sufficiency Program .