Questions? Looking for more information? These resources will help. We have FAQs, links to important sites, and the checklist for applying for assistance.
If you still have questions or would like to talk with one of our staff, please call or contact us at the Trustee’s Office. We’ll be glad to assist you.
What Do I Bring When Applying for Assistance
You should bring any papers which help explain your situation. For example, your rent or house payment receipt will show where you live, how much your rent or house payment is, to whom you make your payments, etc. You should also bring receipts for any money you have spent for at least the past thirty (30) days. This will help show how you have spent your money.
To show what your income has been, bring check stubs or statements from any person or agency helping you. Bringing as much proof as you can about your situation can help speed up the application process. The trustee, by law, may request your permission to verify (by phone or mail) any information you give during your application.
If you are asking for help with utilities, bring the latest bills with you. If you are presently receiving TANF, bring the most recent Certificate of Action from your caseworker.
The trustee may require additional documentation depending on a household’s situation. Here is a list of potential documents to bring.
Social Security Cards For All Household Members
All Adult Signatures On Application
Picture ID For All Adults 18 Years And Older
Household Bills - Last 30 Days
Rent / House Payment
Phone / Cable Bill
Car Payments / Car Insurance
Furniture / Appliance Payments
Income - Last 30 Days
Employment Income (Pay Stubs)
SSI / SSD / Pension (Award Letter)
Child Support Print-Out
Documentation Of Financial Assistance From Family And Other
Any Other Sources Of Income
Bank Statements / Receipts - Last 30 Days
What Does A Township Trustee Do?
The trustee is assisted in his duties by an elected board and an appointed staff. The Township Trustee is an elected official who is the Overseer of the Poor within his township.
This pamphlet is about Township Assistance in general. A trustee is responsible for helping needy who reside in their township only. Rules and procedures may vary between townships.
Who is Eligible for Trustee Help?
There are three (3) rules of thumb concerning trustee assistance:
Apply within the township where you live.
Be in need of essentials of life.
Be willing to help yourself as much as possible.
What About The Residency Requirement?
A person does not need to have lived in the township for any particular length of time as long as he/she is living there at the time of application. A traveler stranded in the township may apply for assistance as a transient with or without the assistance of the local police or county sheriff’s department.
How is Need Determined?
A person or family is in need if there is not enough income or resources to provide the basic necessities of life. Necessities of life include food, shelter, utilities, medical, household supplies, clothing and other basic needs.
Individual qualification is determined by the trustee or staff based on written standards adopted by the township.
How Do I Apply For Trustee Assistance?
In most cases you will need to phone the trustee's office to schedule an appointment. Some townships accept walk-ins, but most prefer or require an appointment.
You must be interviewed after you have filled out the application form. The application is a legal affidavit and you must state your situation as accurately and completely as you can. Applications are signed by all adult members of the household and are valid for 180 days. There are criminal penalties for deliberately giving false information.
What Happens After The Application?
If you have an immediate need, such as food or prescriptions, the trustee can give help the same day. In some situations, it will be necessary to make a home visit before assistance can be granted. You may be asked to bring in additional information before a decision can be made. In most cases, a determination can be made within three (3) business days, not including weekends or holidays.
Once a trustee determines your eligibility, you will be given a "Notice of Action" which is a written statement of the decision and the reason for it.
What If The Trustee Denies Assistance?
You can appeal within fifteen (15) days. The "Notice of Action", which gives the reasons you were denied, also tells you how to appeal with the County Commissioners. The Board of County Commissioners will set a time to hear your side of the story and the trustee's and then make a decision. They are bound to use the same set of guidelines that the trustee does. You can bring documents and witnesses to the hearing to help prove your case. You can be represented by legal counsel or anyone you choose.
Can I get Trustee Assistance More Than Once?
Yes, the trustee’s assistance can continue as long as your needs exist IF you continue to try to help yourself by seeking employment and/or other forms of assistance. However, eligibility is determined each time a request is made. For instance, each month that you need rent assistance, a request must be made with the trustee, completing the Application for Continuing or Additional Assistance, once again verifying your income and expenses since the last request.
What Kind Of Assistance Can The Trustee Provide?
Specifically, the trustee can meet the following basic needs:
Clothing - necessary for employment, school, or ordinary decency.
Food - for households not receiving food stamps. The trustee will not supplement food stamps except in specific emergencies: theft, spoilage, health needs.
Household Supplies - cleaning and hygiene items.
Medical Assistance - not otherwise provided by insurance, clinics and HCI.
Shelter - rental payments not to exceed established schedule (if specified in the township assistance standards). The landlord or property owner does not have to accept trustee payment. The trustee will not pay for housing that is unfit. The trustee can assist in emergency relocation.
Utilities - bills in the current name of the applicant for the current residence. Apply for utility assistance as soon as you realize you are unable to pay your bills - do not wait until the bills are delinquent or service is disconnected.
Other services include burials and transportation to seek and\or maintain employment.
I'm Applying for Assistance; What Am I Expected to Do?
The Work Requirement:
By law, the trustee must require any able-bodied, unemployed member of a household receiving assistance to seek and accept employment, unless:
The trustee may require proof of your inability to work, such as a doctor's statement.
Other self-help requirements:
Any member of the household receiving assistance is required to apply for other forms of aid if it might help the household meet basic needs. Examples of other forms of assistance are:
The recipient must cooperate with the trustee's office in getting necessary papers signed. For instance, in order for the trustee to pay rent, the person receiving help must sign a "voucher" to go to the landlord. Failure to cooperate with the trustee could result in denial or termination of assistance.
If you are unemployed but able to work, you may be assigned to a workfare project. The work you perform will help pay for the aid you get. For many, workfare has been a major step on the road to a job in the private sector.
How Does the Trustee Provide Aid?
The trustee issues vouchers, never cash, to pay for the goods and services which they provide. A voucher is not money, but is a written promise that the trustee will pay money to the company or person who provides the aid. For instance, if you need food, the trustee may give you a food voucher to take to a grocery store. The voucher is good only if you take it to that particular store. The grocery takes the voucher in exchange for food you select. You will receive no change if you use less than the full amount of your voucher. Then the store turns the voucher back in to the trustee and the grocery store is paid the amount on the voucher.
I'm A Landlord And I Have A Tenant In Need.
Can The Trustee Help?
Yes, IF the tenant qualifies for assistance. You can refer the tenant to the trustee's office to make application. If eligible, the recipient will sign a voucher for the rent. This voucher will be sent to you for your signature and should be returned to this office immediately. A check will be forwarded to you, normally within four weeks. Any questions about rent vouchers may be directed to the Trustee.
How Do I Learn About the Trustee's Practices and Procedures?
The trustee is an elected official and like all officials, is governed by laws and standards. Most of the laws are in Indiana Code 12-2-1-1 and following. The trustee has adopted a set of standards to give more detail about eligibility and office procedures. The Township Assistance Standards are available for anyone to see at the Trustee's Office.