New Hampshire Public Safety and Welfare Statute

TITLE 12

Public Safety and Welfare

CHAPTER 165

Aid to Assisted Persons

§ 165:1 Who Entitled; Local Responsibility. – I. Whenever a person in any town is poor and unable to support himself, he shall be relieved and maintained by the overseers of public welfare of such town, whether or not he has residence there. For the purposes of this chapter the term "residence" shall have the same definition as in RSA 21:6-a.

II. The local governing body, as defined in RSA 672:6, of every town and city in the state shall adopt written guidelines relative to general assistance. The guidelines shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) The process for application for general assistance.

(b) The criteria for determining eligibility.

(c) The process for appealing a decision relative to the granting of general assistance.

(d) The process for the application of rents under RSA 165:4-b, if the municipality uses the offset provisions of RSA 165:4-a.

(e) A statement that qualified state assistance reductions under RSA 167:82, VIII may be deemed as income, if the local governing body has permitted the welfare administrator to treat a qualified state assistance reduction as deemed income under RSA 165:1-e.

III. Whenever a town provides assistance under this section, no such assistance shall be provided directly to a person or household in the form of cash payments.

Source. RS 66:1. CS 70:1. GS 74:1. GL 82:1. PS 84:1. PL 106:1. RL 124:1. RSA 165:1. 1979, 243:1; 351:2. 1985, 380:2. 1986, 5:2. 1991, 355:56. 1992, 184:1, eff. July 11, 1992. 1996, 175:2, eff. Aug. 2, 1996.

§ 165:1-a Assisted Person Defined; Local Responsibility. – Any person in a town or city who is poor and unable to support himself shall be known as a town or city assisted person, and shall be relieved and maintained at the expense of the town or city of residence.

Source. 1977, 336:1. 1985, 380:3, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

§ 165:1-b Disqualification for Noncompliance with Guidelines. – I. Any person otherwise eligible for assistance under this chapter shall become ineligible to receive such assistance if he willfully fails to comply with written guidelines adopted by the governing body of the town or city relating to:

(a) Disclosure of income, resources, or other material financial data;

(b) Participation in a work program authorized under this chapter;

(c) Reasonable work search; or

(d) Application with other public assistance agencies.

II. No person shall be found ineligible for assistance or suspended from assistance pursuant to paragraph I until he has been given:

(a) A written notice stating those specific actions he must take in order to comply; and

(b) A 7-day period within which to comply after receiving such notice.

III. If a person does not comply within the 7 days, the town or city may issue to the person a written notice that the person is ineligible for assistance or suspended from assistance. The written notice shall include a list of the guidelines with which the person is not in compliance, those actions necessary for compliance, and written notice of the opportunity to request a hearing within 5 days.

IV. If such person requests a hearing, the town or city shall give him an opportunity to continue to receive assistance, pending the outcome of the hearing, in accordance with any prior eligibility determination.

V. The period of ineligibility or suspension pursuant to this section shall be 7 days; provided, however, that any such suspension within 6 months after the end of any prior suspension period shall be for 14 days; and provided further that if upon the expiration of the 7-day or 14-day disqualification period the person continues to fail to carry out the specific actions set forth in the notice required in paragraph III, the disqualification shall continue until the person complies.

VI. The overseers of public welfare shall not be required to accept an application for general assistance from a person who is subject to disqualification or suspension under this section; provided, however, that in the event such disqualification or suspension continues beyond the 7 or 14-day period due to continued noncompliance pursuant to paragraph IV, and there is a dispute over a contention by such person that he has satisfactorily complied with the requirements set forth in the notice required by paragraph III, such person shall be given an opportunity to request a hearing to determine that issue, but paragraph IV shall not apply to such a hearing.

Source. 1985, 106:1. 1986, 142:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

§ 165:1-c Nonresidents. – Any person, poor and unable to support himself, who is temporarily in a town or city which is not his residence, and who does not intend to make it his residence, shall be provided such temporary assistance as is reasonable and necessary by such town or city. Such town or city may, if requested, cause such person to be returned to his residence.

Source. 1985, 380:4, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

§ 165:1-d Disqualification for Voluntary Termination of Employment. – I. Any person eligible for assistance under this chapter, who voluntarily terminated employment within the 60-day period before filing an application for assistance, shall be ineligible to receive assistance for 90 days from the date of employment termination, provided the following conditions are met:

(a) The person received general assistance within the last 365 days and was given notice that voluntary termination of employment without good cause could lead to disqualification from receiving general assistance in the future.

(b) There are no minor or dependent children in the person's household which the person is legally responsible for supporting.

(c) At the time of termination of employment, the person did not have a mental or physical impairment which caused such person to be unable to work.

(d) The employment that the person voluntarily terminated consisted of at least 20 hours of work per week, and the person has not become reemployed for at least 2 weeks at a level consisting of at least 20 hours of work per week.

(e) The person did not have good cause for terminating the employment, as defined in paragraph II.

II. Good cause for terminating employment shall include any of the following:

(a) Discrimination by an employer based on age, race, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, or national origin.

(b) Work demands or conditions that render continued employment unreasonable.

(c) Retirement by a person 62 years of age or over or resignation by a person under 62 years of age which is recognized by the employer as retirement.

(d) Employment which becomes unsuitable following the applicant's acceptance of such employment.

(e) Leaving a job in order to accept a bonafide job offer which, because of circumstances beyond the control of the applicant, subsequently either does not materialize or results in employment of fewer than 20 hours per week or weekly earnings of less than the state or federal hourly minimum wage multiplied by 20 hours.

(f) Leaving a job in connection with patterns of employment in which workers frequently move from one employer to another, such as migrant farm labor or construction work, even though employment at the new site has not actually begun.

(g) Leaving a job because of circumstances, such as lack of transportation or a household emergency, which are beyond the control of the applicant to remedy as determined by the overseer of public welfare and which make continued employment impracticable.

(h) Termination of employment for other good cause.

III. The applicant shall be responsible for demonstrating good cause. The welfare officer may offer assistance in obtaining necessary information.

IV. An applicant shall be considered to have voluntarily terminated employment if the applicant fails to report for work without good cause, as defined in paragraph II, resulting in the termination of the applicant's employment. An applicant who is fired or resigns from a job at the request of the employer due to the applicant's inability to maintain the employer's normal work productivity standard shall not be considered to have voluntarily terminated employment.

V. No person shall be found ineligible for assistance due to a voluntary employment termination unless the applicant has been given a written application for assistance and a written notice stating the reason for the denial of assistance and the specific actions which must be taken in order to reinstate eligibility, along with a written notice of the opportunity to request a hearing within 5 days.

VI. Notwithstanding a voluntary termination without good cause, assistance under this chapter may be given if the welfare officer determines that denial of assistance will put that person or members of the person's household at substantial risk of injury to health or other serious harm, which cannot be avoided or mitigated by other public or private resources.

VII. The provisions of RSA 165:1-b, II-VI shall not apply to persons found ineligible for assistance because of voluntary termination of employment without good cause. However, if at any time during the disqualification period, there is a dispute whether a person has satisfactorily complied with the requirements set forth in the written notice provided for by paragraph V, the person shall be given an opportunity to request a hearing to determine that issue only.

Source. 1995, 221:1, eff. Aug. 11, 1995.

§ 165:1-e Option to Treat a Qualified State Assistance Reduction as Deemed Income. – The local governing body of a town or city may permit the welfare administrator to deem as income all or any portion of any qualified state assistance reduction pursuant to RSA 167:82, VIII. The following criteria shall apply to any action to deem income under this section:

I. The authority to deem income under this section shall terminate when the qualified state assistance reduction no longer is in effect.

II. Applicants for general assistance may be required to cooperate in obtaining information from the department of health and human services as to the existence and amount of any qualified state assistance reduction. No applicant for general assistance may be considered to be subject to a qualified state assistance reduction unless the existence and amount of the reduction has been confirmed by the department of health and human services.

III. The welfare administrator shall provide the applicant with a written decision which sets forth the amount of any deemed income used to determine eligibility for general assistance.

IV. Whenever necessary to prevent an immediate threat to the health and safety of children in the household, the welfare administrator shall waive that portion, if any, of the qualified state assistance reduction as is necessary.

Source. 1996, 175:3, eff. Aug. 2, 1996.

§ 165:2 Administration of General Assistance. – The administrator of town or city welfare in each town or city shall administer general assistance to all persons who are eligible for such assistance as provided under RSA 165:1-a and RSA 165:1-c.

Source. 1875, 7:3. GL 269:20. PS 84:7. PL 106:7. RL 124:2. RSA 165:2. 1985, 380:5. 1988, 180:1, eff. June 25, 1988.

§ 165:2-a Expense of General Assistance. – The financial responsibility for general assistance for assisted persons shall be the responsibility of the town or city in which the person making application resides, except as otherwise provided in RSA 165:1-c and 165:20-c.

Source. 1985, 380:6. 1988, 180:1. 1993, 229:2, eff. July 1, 1993.

§ 165:2-b Disqualification for Certain Property Transfers. – No person who is otherwise eligible for assistance under this chapter shall receive such assistance if he has made an assignment, transfer or conveyance of property for the purpose of rendering himself eligible for such assistance within 3 years immediately preceding his application for such assistance.

Source. 1985, 380:6, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

§ 165:2-c Withholding Names of Recipients of Aid. – Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no town, city or county official shall publish or disclose or allow to be published or disclosed in the annual report of the town, city or county, or in any other document or letter, except as is necessary for and connected with the administration of this chapter, the name, address or any other identifying information of any recipient who is receiving assistance or aid; provided, however, that any taxpayer shall be allowed to see the itemized account of such aid furnished. Any person violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1985, 380:6, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

§ 165:4 Information Regarding Bank Deposits. – A cashier of a national bank and a treasurer of a savings bank and a trust company may, when requested by an overseer of public welfare of a town or city in the state, furnish to said overseer any information asked relative to the deposit of a person receiving or applying for public support.

Source. 1933, 116:1. RL 124:4. RSA 165:4. 1985, 380:45, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

Page last updated: September 9, 2013