City of Franklin, NH
Merrimack County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Franklin 8-5-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Throughout this chapter, references to "Welfare Official" and "Welfare Officer" were changed to "Welfare Director" 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4.
A. 
In these standards, the following terms have the meanings specified:
APPLICANT
A person who expresses a desire to receive general assistance or to have his or her eligibility reviewed and whose application has not been terminated. This desire may be expressed either directly or through a person having knowledge of his or her circumstances.
APPLICATION (REAPPLICATION)
The action by which a person requests assistance from the Director or the action by which a person's representative indicates to the Director that the applicant is found actually without sufficient assets or resources and for the time being is unable to support himself or herself or to supply immediate needs. These actions are considered an application even though the applicant subsequently withdraws the request or is proven upon investigation to be ineligible.
APPLICATION FORM
The form provided by the city by which a person makes application and which constitutes written confirmation that a person has made an application.
ASSETS
All real property, cash, personal property and future interests owned by the applicant.
AVAILABLE LIQUID ASSETS
The amount of liquid assets after exclusions. [See § 368-5C(6).]
CASE RECORD
Official file of forms, correspondence and narrative records pertaining to the application, with determination of initial or continuing eligibility, reasons for decisions and actions by the Director and kinds of assistance given.
[Amended 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
DIRECTOR
The Director of Welfare appointed as specified in § C-27 of the Franklin City Charter, or a person duly authorized by him or her.
ELIGIBILITY
Determination by the Welfare Director, with the assistance of statutes and guidelines, of a person's poverty and inability to support himself or herself and therefore the need for general assistance.
FAIR HEARING
The hearing which an applicant or recipient can request to contest a denial or termination, suspension or reduction of assistance. A hearing must be before an impartial decisionmaker, with rights to cross-examine and to have decisions based only upon the evidence at the hearing, in accordance with these standards.
LIQUID ASSETS
Cash, checking accounts, savings deposits, stocks, bonds, insurance policies and other securities.
MINOR
A person who has not attained the age of 18 years. The residence of a minor shall be presumed to be the residence of his/her custodial parent or guardian.
REAL ESTATE
Land and structures attached to it.
RECIPIENT
A person receiving general assistance.
VOUCHER SYSTEM
The City of Franklin pays by a voucher system only, by issuing directly to the vendor (landlord, stores, etc.). Vouchers are redeemable for the period specified. In no cases will the applicant or vendor alter the amount specified or exchange all or any part for cash, alcohol or tobacco products.
B. 
Words denoting one gender shall extend to and include the other gender. The plural shall include the singular, and the singular shall include the plural.
Information given by or concerning an applicant or recipient is to be considered confidential and privileged information. It will not be released to or discussed with any individual or agency without written permission of the client, except when disclosure is required by law or is for purposes directly connected with the administration of welfare.
A. 
The Director shall keep complete records of general assistance. In addition to general statistical records concerning the number of persons given assistance and the cost for such support, a separate case record shall be established for each individual or family applying for general assistance.
(1) 
The purposes for keeping complete records of general assistance are to:
(a) 
Provide a valid basis of accounting for expenditure of the city's funds.
(b) 
Support decisions concerning the applicant's eligibility.
(c) 
Assure availability of information if the applicant or recipient seeks administrative or judicial review of the Director's decisions.
(d) 
Provide social welfare agencies with accurate statistical information, including the number of persons assisted and the amount of money spent for their support, in order that taxpayers and officials may be aware of the scope of the general assistance program.
(e) 
Provide a complete history of the recipient's assistance that might aid a welfare agency in the effort to rehabilitate the recipient (subject to § 368-2).
(f) 
Allow a smooth transition of information if the recipient is transferred to the county or some other legally liable unit.
(2) 
Communication between the Welfare Director and his/her legal counsel shall not be a part of the case record but shall be confidential.
B. 
The Director shall maintain in case records the following minimum information:
(1) 
The complete application for assistance.
(2) 
Grounds for approval or denial of the application.
(3) 
A narrative history recording the need for relief, the results of home visits, if any, collateral information, referrals, changes in status, grounds for release of confidential information, etc.
(4) 
Signed authorization by the applicant allowing the Director to release, obtain or verify any pertinent information in the course of assisting the recipient.
(5) 
A notice of decision form.
A. 
Right to apply. Any person has the right to apply for general assistance. He or she may do so by appearing in person, or through someone representing him or her, before the Director, by expressing a desire to receive general assistance and by completing a written application form. The application form shall give clear notice that the applicant has a right to review if he or she is dissatisfied with the Director's decision.
B. 
Director's responsibilities at time of application. When application is made for general assistance, the Director shall inform the applicant of:
(1) 
The requirement of submitting a written application.
(2) 
Eligibility requirements.
(3) 
The applicant's right to review and the way in which review may be obtained.
(4) 
The applicant's responsibility for reporting all facts necessary to determine eligibility.
(5) 
Joint responsibility of the Director and applicant for exploring facts concerning eligibility, needs and resources and the applicant's responsibility for presenting records or documents to support his or her statements. The Director shall assist the applicant in completing the application.
(6) 
Kinds of verification needed.
(7) 
The fact that an investigation will be conducted in an effort to substantiate the facts and statements as presented by the applicant and that this investigation may take place prior to, during or subsequent to the applicant's receipt of welfare assistance.
(8) 
The applicant's responsibility for notifying the Director of any change in circumstances that will affect eligibility.
(9) 
Any other programs of assistance or service that the Director may know of, if the applicant appears ineligible for general assistance, or of which the applicant may avail himself or herself in addition to receiving general assistance.
(10) 
The requirement of placing a lien on any real property owned by the recipient for any assistance given, except for good cause.
(11) 
The applicant's responsibilities as set forth in Subsection C.
(12) 
The fact that recovery from the applicant is possible if his or her ability to repay the amount of assistance given changes.
C. 
Responsibility of each applicant and recipient.
(1) 
The applicant's responsibilities at the time of initial application and continuing thereafter are to:
(a) 
Provide accurate, complete and current information concerning his or her needs and resources and the whereabouts and circumstances of responsible relatives.
(b) 
Notify the Director within 72 hours when a change in needs or resources may affect eligibility for continuing assistance.
(c) 
Within one week after application, apply for and utilize any benefits or resources, public or private, that will reduce or eliminate the need for general assistance and keep all appointments that are scheduled and return all information that is needed within the specified time frames so that, once assistance is granted, no lapse of benefits such as AFDC checks or food stamps will occur.
(d) 
Notify the Director within 72 hours of a change of address and change in members of the household.
(e) 
Diligently search for employment and provide verification of work search, contacting at least four places of employment per day.
(f) 
Accept employment when offered.
(g) 
Provide a doctor's statement if the person claims that inability to work is caused by medical problems.
(h) 
Participate in the Welfare Work Program if physically and mentally able.
(i) 
Keep appointments as scheduled. If you are more than 15 minutes late and have not notified the Welfare Division you will be considered a no-show and will not be eligible for rescheduling for seven calendar days from your missed appointment date.
[Amended 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
(2) 
Any person may be denied or terminated from assistance who, by means of an intentionally false statement or intentional misrepresentation or by impersonation or other willfully fraudulent act or device, obtains or attempts to obtain any assistance to which he or she is not entitled.
D. 
Action on application.
(1) 
Unless an application is withdrawn, the Welfare Director will make a decision immediately in the case of an emergency or within five working days after completion of the written application.
(a) 
In circumstances where required records are not readily available, the Welfare Director may, at her/his discretion, temporarily approve aid pending receipt of required documents but shall not extend aid beyond seven calendar days.
(b) 
If such records are totally unavailable, the Welfare Director shall not insist on documentary verification.
(2) 
When a decision has been made on an application, the applicant will be informed, in writing, that assistance of a stated kind or amount will be given or that the application has been denied, with reasons for denial, within three working days. See § 368-13, Forms, and § 368-8, Right to notice of adverse action.
(3) 
In the case of an emergency situation, such as fire, flood, hurricane, illness or injury, imminent eviction or termination of utilities, unexpected misfortune during travel or other situations beyond the control of the applicant or his or her dependents, the Director may grant temporary assistance immediately, pending formal determination of eligibility.
(4) 
An application is considered withdrawn if:
(a) 
The Director cannot complete the interview because the applicant has failed to cooperate.
(b) 
The applicant dies before assistance is rendered.
(c) 
The applicant avails himself or herself of another resource in place of assistance.
(d) 
The applicant requests that the application be withdrawn.
(e) 
The applicant does not contact the Director after the initial interview if requested to do so.
A. 
A person is eligible to receive assistance when he or she has met the standard of need. The standard of need is determined by using a budget sheet. Actual or allowable expenses, whichever is less, are added and net income, excluding voluntary deductions, is then subtracted, resulting in the amount of need.
B. 
Legal standard.
(1) 
"Whenever" means at any or whatever time that person is unable to support himself or herself.
(a) 
The Director, or a person authorized to act in his or her behalf, shall be available during normal city working hours.
(b) 
The eligibility of any applicant for general assistance shall be determined within five working days upon completion of the written application.
(c) 
Assistance shall be granted as soon as eligibility has been affirmatively determined.
(2) 
"Poor and unable to support" means that an individual lacks money or material possessions or the ability through other programs or means to adequately provide necessities for himself or herself or family, as determined by the welfare standards maintenance amounts. (See Subsection E, Standard of need)
(3) 
"Relieved" means a person shall be assisted to meet those basic needs.
C. 
Nonfinancial eligibility factors.
(1) 
Age. Age is not a factor in determining whether a person is eligible for assistance. However, age does make certain persons eligible for other kinds of assistance, i.e., social security, old age assistance, AFDC or foster care.
(2) 
Support actions. No applicant or recipient shall be compelled, as a condition of eligibility or continued receipt of assistance, to take any legal action against any other person. The city may pursue legally liable persons or entities pursuant to RSA 165:19 and 165:20.
(3) 
Eligibility for categorical assistance. Any applicant or recipient whom the Director believes may be eligible for any other form of public assistance must apply for such assistance within seven calendar days after being advised to do so by the Director. Failure to do so will render the applicant or recipient ineligible for assistance until he or she makes such application. Unless and until another form of public assistance is received, a person otherwise eligible is entitled to receive general assistance. Only in extraordinary circumstances will a person receiving another form of public assistance also be considered as potentially eligible for general assistance. Once a person is being aided by another form of public assistance, he/she is expected to comply with all requests pertaining to staying eligible with that public assistance. Requests shall include keeping all appointments and passing in all information and verifications in a timely manner.
(4) 
Employment. A person who is gainfully employed but whose income and assets are not sufficient to meet necessary family expenses may be eligible to receive general assistance. However, applicants and recipients who, without good cause, refuse suitable employment or who voluntarily leave a job are ineligible for assistance for 90 days from the date of employment termination, provided that they do not meet the disqualifications set forth in RSA 165:1-d.
(5) 
Registration with the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security (DES) and work search.
(a) 
Any recipient and each adult member of his or her family shall, within one week after having been granted assistance, register with DES to find work or to gain skills that will enable him or her to find work and must conduct an adequate work search consisting of at least four inquiries per day. These requirements shall apply unless the recipient or adult member of the family is:
[1] 
Gainfully employed.
[2] 
A dependent, 18 or younger, who is regularly attending school in grade 12 or lower.
[3] 
Unable to work due to illness or disability.
[4] 
Required at home because of illness or disability of another member of the household and documented by a physician.
[5] 
Responsible for the care of a child under age five.
(b) 
The Director shall give all necessary and reasonable assistance, including the granting of allowances for transportation and work clothes.
(6) 
Available liquid assets.
(a) 
Cash on hand, bank deposits, credit union accounts and securities are available liquid assets. Insurance policies with a loan value and nonessential personal property may be considered as available liquid assets when they have been converted to cash. The Director shall allow a reasonable time for such conversion.
(b) 
However, tools of trade, livestock and farm equipment, other equipment used for production of income and necessary and ordinary household goods are essential items of personal property which should not be considered as available assets.
(7) 
Automobile ownership. An applicant's or his or her dependent's ownership of not more than one automobile does not affect eligibility and should be included in determining his or her personal property if it is essential for transportation in seeking employment or transportation to employment, medical care, rehabilitation or training facilities or if it is essential for general use necessary for the maintenance of the individual or his or her family. Car payments will not be considered justifiable expenses when determining eligibility.
(8) 
Insurance. There is no limitation on the ownership of insurance, but an insurance policy with a loan value shall be considered an available asset under Subsection C(6). Premium payments will not be considered justifiable expenses when determining eligibility.
(9) 
Real estate. The type and amount of real estate owned by an applicant does not affect eligibility, although rent or other such income from property shall be considered as available to meet need. Persons owning real property, other than that occupied as a home, shall make reasonable efforts to dispose of the property at fair market value in order to convert it into assets which can be applied toward meeting present need. In such a case, continuing eligibility shall depend on whether reasonable efforts are being made to dispose of the real estate at fair market value. An applicant shall be made aware that the city shall file a lien against any real estate owned by a recipient. An applicant or recipient will be required to execute any and all documents to perfect the city's lien interest as aforementioned.
(10) 
Work program. The Director may require, as a condition of receiving general assistance, that a recipient participate on the Welfare Work Program (see § 368-6). Refusal to work may be a ground for denying or terminating assistance, unless the refusal is due to one of the reasons specified in § 368-6E (RSA 165:31).
(11) 
Students. Students 18 years and over are not eligible for local assistance by virtue of the fact that they are refusing full-time employment which would make public assistance unnecessary.
D. 
Verification of information. Any determination or investigation of need or eligibility shall be conducted in a manner that will not violate privacy or personal dignity of the individual or harass or violate his or her individual rights.
(1) 
Verification will normally be required of the following:
(a) 
Applicant's address.
(b) 
Names and income of persons residing with the applicant.
(c) 
Applicant's income and assets.
(d) 
Applicant's financial obligation.
(e) 
Applicant's mental and physical condition, when relevant.
(f) 
Any special circumstances claimed by the applicant.
(g) 
Applicant's employment status and availability in the labor market.
(h) 
Names, addresses and employment status of potentially liable relatives.
(i) 
Utility costs.
(j) 
Housing costs.
(2) 
Verification may be made through records provided by the applicant (for example, rent receipts, birth and marriage certificates, pay stubs, paychecks, bankbooks, etc.) as primary sources. If such records are not available at time of the initial application, information may be provided verbally. However, the applicant must produce the required records within one week of the initial application. The Director should not insist on documentary verification if such records are not available.
(3) 
Verification may also be made through other sources, such as relatives, employers, banks, school personnel and social or governmental agencies. The cashier of a national bank and a treasurer of a savings and trust company can furnish information regarding amounts deposited to the credit of an applicant or recipient.
(4) 
When information is sought from such other sources, the Director shall explain to the applicant or recipient what information is desired, how it will be used and the necessity of obtaining it in order to establish eligibility. Before contact is made with any other source, the Director shall obtain written consent of the applicant or recipient, unless the Director has reasonable grounds to suspect fraud. In the case of possible fraud, the Director shall carefully record his or her reasons and actions and the applicant shall be given an opportunity to clarify the situation.
(5) 
If the applicant or recipient refuses consent and is unwilling to have the Director seek further information at any times that it is necessary, the Director may deny or terminate assistance for lack of substantiation of eligibility. When the Director notifies the applicant or recipient of this decision, the Director shall also inform the individual of the right to request a fair hearing and a right to reapply at any time.
(6) 
The Director may make home visits to verify information at his or her discretion and in the least intrusive manner.
E. 
Standard of need. A person is eligible for general assistance when need exceeds income plus nonexempt available liquid assets. To determine an applicant's standard of need, a budget sheet is figured, adding actual or allowable expenses, whichever is less, and subtracting net income. Allowable expenses are as listed.
(1) 
Shelter. The actual cost of rent or mortgage principle is considered as determined either by HUD fair market rents or by local market factors, whichever is less. Fair market rents as published by HUD will be utilized as the maximum amounts, with a suitable downward adjustment where utilities are not included, in which case the utility allowance published by HUD will serve as maximums. No shelter arrearage will be made, but every effort will be undertaken to prevent eviction. Whenever a relative of an applicant is also the landlord for the applicant, that landlord will be expected to assist his or her relative whenever possible pursuant to RSA 165:19. Specifically, the relative landlord must prove an inability to assist before any aid payment for shelter is made. General assistance payments will not be used to pay shelter security deposits. No home equity loan will be paid or considered as a need.
(a) 
Applicants seeking assistance with moving to another dwelling must document that the reason for the move is:
[1] 
Substandard housing, documented by the appropriate public official.
[2] 
Homelessness.
[3] 
Imminent eviction which was unavoidable by the applicant.
(b) 
Assistance with rent will not be paid on housing that does not meet the criteria set forth by the Code Enforcement Office.
(2) 
Utilities. When utility costs are not included in the rental expense, the most recent outstanding monthly utility bill will be considered for payment by the Director. Arrearages will not be paid except when necessary to ensure the health and safety of the applicant. Any utility bill not in the name of the applicant will not be considered for payment.
(a) 
When a person/family is receiving rent subsidy through a program regulated by HUD, the city will enforce the responsibility of the twenty-five-dollar deduction being made by HUD as a responsibility of the recipient and his/her family.
(b) 
If the actual cost of rent or mortgage plus utilities exceeds the maximum level, the actual costs shall be considered if the following circumstances exist:
[1] 
There exists a condition or emergency which mandates immediate payment.
[2] 
There is no uncrowded suitable housing available for the recipient that complies with local housing codes or conforms to reasonable standards of decency and health.
(c) 
The rent and utility maximums stated shall be reviewed annually and adjusted, if necessary, to reflect current costs within the city by the Director.
(3) 
Food. The full allotment of food stamps to which a recipient is entitled may be budgeted.
(a) 
In the situations specified below, food orders according to the chart "Assistance Guidelines" below shall be budgeted for the family:
[1] 
The household is eligible for food stamps but needs food during the period beginning with an application for general assistance until food stamps are received.
[2] 
The household received food stamps but its stamps or food supply has been destroyed by fire or other disaster.
(b) 
In the following circumstances, more than the food allotment may be budgeted:
[1] 
The household receives food stamps but a physician has stated, in writing, that one or more members of the family needs a special diet, the cost of which is greater than can be purchased with the family's allotment of food stamps.
[2] 
The household receives food stamps but the Director determines that the household is in need of supplementary food assistance, provided that the household has participated in the food stamp program to the fullest extent allowable under federal and state law. Generally, clients are ineligible for additional food vouchers if they participate in the food stamp program.
Assistance Guidelines
Family Size
Weekly Food Allowance
1
$25
2
$35
3
$55
4
$70
5
$85
6
$100
[3] 
Families over six shall receive an additional $15 per person per week.
(4) 
Maintenance allowance. Supplementary orders may be issued under extenuating circumstances to provide maintenance necessities for personal or household supplies where need is demonstrated.
Family Size
Monthly Allowance
1
$15
2
$25
3
$27
4
$33
5
$40
6
$47
(5) 
Telephone. 911 can be reached from any phone jack regardless of whether the phone service is active. All that is needed is a phone to plug into the jack.
(6) 
Emergency and other expenses. If the applicant has the following current expenses, their actual cost shall be included as emergency and other expenses to determine eligibility and amount of assistance.
(a) 
Generally, the Director shall not consider providing for medical, dental or eye services unless the applicant can verify and document that all other potential sources have been investigated and that there is no other source of assistance other than local welfare. When a person applies for medical service, dental service or eye service to the Director, he or she must provide written documentation from a doctor, dentist or person licensed to practice optometry in the area indicating that these services are absolutely necessary and cannot be postponed without running a significant risk that the applicant's well-being will be placed in serious jeopardy. Prescriptions will be considered if they are life sustaining for up to 30 days while alternative benefits are located through other insurance programs or prescription programs that may be available.
[Amended 4-4-2016 by Ord. No. 08-16]
(b) 
Cost necessary to prevent imminent repossession of any essential item which, if lost, may need to be replaced (excluding automobiles and rental furniture).
(c) 
Where the recipient owns a home and is otherwise eligible for general assistance, payment to prevent foreclosure, preserve the home and promote the health and safety of the recipient may be made when the mortgage amount is less than fair market rent for an apartment and when the applicant can document that the assistance will be short-term only (45 days or less).
(d) 
Except for those specifically required by statute, legal expenses will not be paid.
(e) 
Moving expenses will not be paid.
(7) 
Minor variations of expenses. The Director may make minor adjustments in the dollar amounts specified in the standard of need criteria if he or she determines that needs have substantially changed due to cost-of-living changes or climatic conditions or that strict appliance of these standards will result in unnecessary or undue hardship. The Director shall give written notice of any general adjustments to the City Council at least 10 days before making them. The Director shall give periodic reports to the City Council of any individual adjustments.
F. 
Income. In determining eligibility and the amount of assistance, the standard of need shall be compared to available income and assets. Computation of income and expenses will be by the week or month. In cases where a large amount has been received at one time, such as the sale of personal property, computation of income and expenses may be by the year. The following items will be included in the computation:
(1) 
Earned income.
(a) 
Income in cash or in kind earned by the applicant or recipient and any member of his or her family through wages, salary, commissions or profit, whether self-employed or as an employee, is to be included. Rent income and profits from produce sold are in this category. With respect to self-employment, total profit is arrived at by subtracting business expenses from gross income. Verification of net profit by profit and loss statement will be required. When income consists of wages, the amount computed shall be that available after income taxes, social security and other payroll deductions required by law, court-ordered support payments and child-care costs and costs of clothing required for employment have been deducted from gross income. Wages that are trusted or income similarly unavailable to the applicant or his or her dependents shall not be considered.
(b) 
Money and/or goods that are received will not be replaced if they are reported lost or stolen and will be counted as available assets for the month that they were received in.
(2) 
Income or support from relatives. Contributions from relatives shall be considered as income only if actually received by the applicant or recipient (RSA 165:19).
(3) 
Income from other assistance or social insurance program. State categorical assistance benefits, OASDI payments, social security payments, VA benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, workers' compensation benefits and payments from other government sources shall be considered as income. These guidelines will enforce RSA 165:1e relative to preventing downshifting of welfare costs to cities and towns. In accordance with RSA 165:1e, when a person receiving welfare benefits is sanctioned by a reduction in benefits for noncompliance, the amount of income considered will be the amount that the person was receiving prior to the sanction.
[Amended 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
(4) 
Court-ordered support payment. Alimony and child support payments shall be considered income only if actually received by the applicant or recipient.
(5) 
Income from other sources. Payment from pension and trust funds and the like shall be considered income. Any income actually available to the applicant or recipient from members of his or her household who are not related by blood or marriage (for example, boarders or lodgers) shall be considered as income.
(6) 
Earnings of a child. No inquiry shall be made into the earnings of a child 17 years of age or less unless the child in fact makes a regular and substantial contribution to the family and is not enrolled in school full time.
A. 
In accordance with RSA 165:31, a recipient may be required to participate on a Welfare Work Program to the fullest extent of his or her ability.
B. 
In no case shall a Welfare Work Program participant be paid less than the applicable minimum wage established by law. All wages attributable to such employment shall be used to reimburse the locality for current assistance given. Participation under this section shall continue for as long as assistance is required and received.
C. 
If, due to lack of work or other good cause, the recipient does not work a sufficient number of hours to fully compensate for the amount of aid to which he or she is otherwise entitled under these standards, this full amount of aid required shall still be paid.
D. 
The locality shall provide reasonable times during working hours for recipients to secure work in the labor market. A person on a city relief work program may be placed in a regular city position.
E. 
Refusal to work does not include failure to appear for or to perform work where the recipient:
(1) 
Has a conflicting interview for a job possibility and can provide documentation as such.
(2) 
Has a conflicting interview at a service or welfare agency and can provide documentation as such.
(3) 
Must care for children under the age of five.
(4) 
Has a medical appointment or illness, documented by a physician, clinic or emergency room personnel or the Welfare Director.
(5) 
Must remain at home because of illness or disability to another member of the household (verified in writing by a physician).
(6) 
Does not possess the material or tools required to perform the task and the city fails to provide the same.
[Amended 4-4-2016 by Ord. No. 08-16]
The Director shall provide for proper burial, at city expense, of assisted persons in the city at time of death. Assistance with burial will only be paid by city welfare when approval is authorized prior to the funeral and burial. Total cost of the funeral and burial must not exceed $1,285. If it exceeds $1,285 no welfare payment will be made. Except when a town- or city-assisted person has made arrangements for a prepaid funeral, if the total of his liquid assets at death is less than $1,000, there shall be an automatic assignment to the funeral director or the person who paid for the funeral and burial or cremation of the deceased to the extent of funeral and burial or cremation expenses up to $1,000.
To assure administration of general assistance in this city in a manner which is not unfair, arbitrary or unreasonable, an applicant or recipient, where assistance has been denied, terminated or suspended or reduced, shall have the rights specified in this section and § 368-9.
A. 
Notice required.
(1) 
Every applicant and recipient shall be given a written notice of every decision regarding assistance.
(2) 
Whenever a decision is made to grant or deny assistance, a notice of the decision shall be given or mailed to the applicant within three working days in case of an emergency or within five working days after the completion of an adequate written application that contains all information required. In the case of an applicant making multiple requests at the time of application, the Director may pend a decision on one or more of the requests for a period of five working days if further information is needed to make that decision.
(3) 
If the Director decides to terminate, suspend or reduce assistance in advance of the next anticipated date of assistance, the Director shall send notice at least seven days in advance to the recipient stating the intended action, which notice shall comply with § 368-9B(2). If the Director decides to terminate, suspend or reduce assistance on the date of an interview, the recipient shall be given immediate written notice as specified in § 368-9B(2), including notice of the right to have assistance continued pending the fair hearing, if one is requested.
B. 
Contents of notice.
(1) 
Where the application is granted, the notice shall state the amount and type of assistance and the time period for which it is granted.
(2) 
Where the application is denied or the Director proposes to terminate, suspend or reduce assistance, the notice shall contain:
(a) 
A clear statement of the reasons for the denial or proposed termination, suspension or reduction.
(b) 
A statement advising the individual of his or her right to a fair hearing and that any request for a fair hearing must be made in writing.
(c) 
A form on which the individual may request a fair hearing.
(d) 
A statement advising the individual of the time limits which must be met in order to receive a fair hearing within five working days of receipt of notice of decision.
(3) 
A copy of the notice of decision should be given or mailed to the applicant within three working days after the decision is made, with a copy placed in the case file.
C. 
Continuation pending hearing.
(1) 
No termination, suspension or reduction of assistance shall become effective until a fair hearing has been held and the decision rendered or until the recipient has waived his or her right to such a hearing by not requesting one within the time specified or by expressly waiving his or her right to such a hearing by not requesting one in writing or by failing to appear at the fair hearing without good cause.
(2) 
If a hearing is requested and the recipient fails to prevail at the hearing, the assistance given pending the hearing shall be a debt owed by the individual to the city.
(3) 
Before a recipient is to continue receiving assistance pending a hearing, he or she must have been a recipient of assistance granted:
(a) 
On a weekly basis for at least two consecutive weeks immediately preceding the receipt of the notice of adverse action.
(b) 
On a monthly basis for at least two consecutive months immediately preceding the receipt of notice.
A. 
Requests. A request for a fair hearing is a written expression by the applicant or recipient or any person acting for him or her to the effect that he or she wants an opportunity to present his or her case to a high authority.
B. 
Time limits for requests.
(1) 
When an application is denied, a request for a fair hearing must be received within five days after receipt of the denial. (RSA 165:1-b, III)
(2) 
When the Director proposes to reduce, suspend or terminate assistance and the recipient desires a fair hearing prior to that reduction, suspension or termination, a fair hearing must be requested within five days after the date of notification.
C. 
Time limits for hearing.
(1) 
Hearings requested by applicants and by recipients must be held within seven working days after the receipt of the request. The Director shall give notice to the individual setting forth the time and location of the hearing. This notice must be given to the individual at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing or mailed to the individual at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing.
(2) 
Hearings prior to a proposed reduction, suspension or termination should be held within a reasonable time after the recipient's request, with notice to a recipient in accord with Subsection C(1).
D. 
Procedures at the hearing.
(1) 
A claimant or his or her duly authorized representative shall have the right to examine, prior to an active fair hearing, all records, papers and documents contained in the claimant's file, as well as any documents not contained in such case file relevant to the Director's action of which the claimant complains. The claimant may introduce any such documents, papers or records into evidence. No record, paper or document which the claimant has not been allowed the opportunity to examine prior to the hearing shall be introduced at the hearing or become part of the record. The applicant or recipient has the right to examine his or her personal file upon request to the Director.
(2) 
The Director or his or her duly authorized representative shall have the right to examine at the fair hearing all documents on which the claimant plans to rely at the fair hearing and may request a continuance if such documents present newly discovered evidence.
(3) 
All fair hearings will adhere to the following:
(a) 
Fair hearings shall be conducted in such manner as to ensure due process of law.
(b) 
Fair hearings shall not be conducted according to strict rules of legal procedure and strict rules of evidence. However, in order to protect the right to cross-examine, the fair hearing official shall not rely upon any hearsay evidence in making his or her decision where any party objects to its introduction.
(c) 
The burden of proof will be on the party challenging the status quo. The burden of proof shall be established by a preponderance of the evidence.
(d) 
The Director or, if applicable, his or her agent shall attend the hearing and testify as to his or her actions and reasons therefor.
(e) 
Both parties shall be given the opportunity to offer evidence and explain their positions as fully and completely as they wish.
(f) 
The claimant or his or her representative and the Director or his or her representative shall have the opportunity to examine all records and documents used at the hearing; to present his or her case for himself or herself or with the aid of others, at his or her option; to bring witnesses; to establish all pertinent facts; to advance any arguments without undue interference; and to question or refute any testimony or evidence, including the opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses.
(g) 
The decision of the Fair Hearing Officer must be based solely on the record, in light of these standards. Evidence, both written and oral, which is admitted at the hearing shall be the sole contents of the record. The Hearing Officer shall not review the case record or other material prior to introduction at the hearing.
(h) 
The parties may stipulate to any facts.
(4) 
Fair Hearing Officer.
(a) 
The Fair Hearing Officer shall be an appointed member of the community who has the knowledge and experience necessary to make an impartial decision and who:
[1] 
Has not participated in the decision causing dissatisfaction.
[2] 
Is impartial.
[3] 
Is sufficiently skilled in interviewing to be able to obtain evidence and the facts necessary for a fair determination.
[4] 
Is capable of evaluating all evidence fairly and realistically, can explain to the claimant the laws and regulations under which the Director operated and can interpret to the Director any evidence of unsound, unclear or inequitable policies, practice or actions.
(b) 
The Fair Hearing Officer shall be appointed by a joint decision of the City Manager and the Welfare Director.
E. 
Decision.
(1) 
Fair hearing decisions shall be rendered within seven working days after the hearing. Decisions shall be in writing setting forth the reasons for the decision and facts on which the Fair Hearing Officer relied in reaching his or her decision. A copy of the decision shall be mailed or delivered to the claimant and to the Director.
(2) 
Fair hearing decisions will be rendered on the basis of the Officer's findings of fact, these standards and state and federal law. The fair hearing decision shall set forth appropriate relief.
(3) 
The decision shall be dated. In the case of a hearing prior to a proposed termination, suspension or reduction or assistance, the decision shall be effective as of the date assistance would otherwise have been due. In the case of a hearing after a reduction, suspension or termination or a hearing to review a denial of aid, the decision shall be retroactive to the date of the action being appealed.
(4) 
The Director shall keep all fair hearing decisions on file.
(5) 
None of the procedures specified herein shall limit any right of the applicant or recipient to subsequent court action to review or challenge the adverse decision.
Pursuant to RSA 165:28, the amount of money spent by the city in providing general assistance shall, except for just cause, be made a lien on any real estate owned by the recipient. After the amount of assistance granted to a recipient has reached $200, the Director shall file the notice of lien with the County Registry of Deeds, complete with the owner's name and a description of the property sufficient to identify it. The lien remains in effect during the lifetime of a person or until the amount of the lien is repaid to the city. Upon repayment of a lien, the Director shall file written notice of the discontinuance of the lien with the County Registry of Deeds.
[Amended 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
A. 
Whenever the Welfare Director determines that public funds have been spent or are being spent to support a person who has a father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, husband, wife, child who is no longer a minor or a former spouse obligated by court order to support, and who has sufficient ability to support, the poor person or that another municipality, county or other designated relative is ultimately liable for the support of the applicant or recipient, the Welfare Director shall take all appropriate steps to recover the amount of money that has been expended in support of such person and to ensure that the appropriate party assumes future support of the person.
B. 
There shall be no delay, refusal to assist, reduction or termination of assistance while the Welfare Director is pursuing statutory remedies to secure reimbursement and future support.
A. 
Whenever the owner of property rented to a person receiving general assistance from the City of Franklin is in arrears in taxes, sewer or water payments to the City of Franklin, the city will apply the assistance which the property owner would have received in payment of rent on behalf of such assisted person to the property owner's delinquent balances, regardless of whether such delinquent balances are in respect of property occupied by the assisted person. (RSA 165:4-a)
B. 
A payment shall be considered in arrears if more than 30 days have elapsed since the mailing of the bill or, in the case of real estate taxes, if interest has begun to accrue pursuant to RSA 76:13. (RSA 165:4-a)
C. 
Delinquent balances will be offset in order of the following priority: taxes, water and sewer.
D. 
Procedure.
(1) 
The Welfare Director will issue a voucher on behalf of the tenant to the landlord for the allowed amount of rent. The voucher will indicate any amount to be applied to a delinquent balance owed by the landlord, specifying which delinquency and referring to the authority of RSA 165:4-a.
(2) 
The Welfare Director will issue a duplicate voucher to the appropriate department (i.e., Tax Collector or Municipal Services Department), which shall forward the voucher to the Finance Officer for payment. Upon receipt of payment, the Department will issue a receipt of payment to the delinquent landlord.
[Amended 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
The Director shall determine the forms required to implement these standards and they shall be appended to these standards.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said forms are on file at the Welfare Office.
These standards shall apply to determinations of general assistance after their adoption by the Franklin City Council. Amendments to these standards may be made by the City Council at any proper meeting and by the Director as permitted by these standards.