Every community has a welfare office that can work with you to see if you’re eligible for assistance that the town or city provides and/or refer you to other providers of assistance. This includes:
- Rent. This can be to prevent an eviction or assist with the first month’s rent in a new housing situation.
- Mortgage payment
- Electric payments
- Heating assistance
- Life-saving prescriptions
- Cremation services
- Dental. This is usually limited to tooth extractions because of infections or an abscess
- Emergency housing. Note: If a shelter bed is open to you and you do not take it, the welfare office likely won’t pay for other housing.
- Emergency food, if you can’t get help from a local pantry or service.
If you know you will need help with rent, or that your utilities will likely be disconnected, you’re encouraged to reach out ahead of time – before you get the overdue or disconnect notice.
A couple of notes:
This is not state or federal assistance. It is funded and administered by each community.
If you are faced with an immediate crisis, the community needs to have someone available to help you during weekday business hours (usually Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), including communities with part-time welfare hours.
The town or city can ask you to repay the help you receive when you are no longer experiencing hardship. Homeowners will have a lien put on their property during the time they receive assistance. You have a right to appeal a decision by a town or city’s welfare administrator.
(Information courtesy of Todd Marsh, president of the N.H. Local Welfare Association.)