This year, you won’t have to worry about losing your benefits if you get a big tax refund. Starting in 2011, any tax refunds you get will not affect most public benefits, or how much you get!
Under the law passed in December 2010:
In Maine, if you cannot pay your tax bill for the property you live on, there is something you can do. Your city or town can decide that you don't have to pay some or all of it. This is called a "poverty tax abatement."
General assistance (called GA after this) is a program run by every town to help people who don't have enough money to pay their necessary expenses. You may be eligible if your basic living costs are more than the money you have or can earn.
It is not easy to balance a household budget when you have a low income. But you can supplement your income by claiming all of the benefits and supports you have the right to claim. Here is a checklist. Make sure you are not leaving money on the table!
You may have heard about the massive data breach at Equifax. Equifax is one of the large credit reporting bureaus, that collects credit and other personal information about people. A lot of this information they collect has been hacked. In Maine, about half a million people's information is affected by this breach.
If you did not have healthcare coverage then you could face a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act, known as the "Shared Responsibility Payment." But this is not true for everyone, especially low-income households.