The Welfare Department exists to assist people in need with General Assistance so that they will have food and shelter and their medical needs met. The Welfare Department helps people determine their eligibility for General Assistance. It provides guidelines and assistance in completing required applications and explaining the applicant’s responsibilities and rights.
The broad mandate of the New Hampshire Law [RSA 165] subjects the town to wide variation in costs which are difficult to predict. The Town may recover sums spent on support from relations of the assisted person, through property and settlement liens, through reimbursement from Medicaid or Social Security, from another legally liable municipality, or from the recipient. In some communities recipients of assistance may be required to work for the Town as a condition of continued eligibility for assistance, but that welfare-work program is not available in Rye at this time. See RSA 165:19. Assistance funds are provided by the Town of Rye, while the eligibility and need are handled by the Portsmouth Welfare Department in consultation with the Rye Town Administrator. The Director of the Portsmouth Welfare Department, currently Keith Bates, can also make the applicants aware of any other programs for which they may qualify if they are ineligible for General Assistance, or if their needs exceed that which is covered by General Assistance. Residents of other New Hampshire towns, if they meet certain basic criteria, can seek assistance from the Welfare Department. Once a welfare recipient has regained financial stability, the Town of Rye may ask the recipient’s home town for recovery of the aid it provided. Those interested in information about or applying for General Assistance should contact the Portsmouth Welfare Department. [email protected]. The phone number for the Welfare Department is (603) 610-7260.