10-144 C.M.R. Ch. 330, Higher Opportunity for Pathways to Employment (HOPE) Program Rules, Ch. 3, Rule #102P

Date posted:


This rule change proposes to increase the income limit from 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 225% of the FPL consistent with 22 M.R.S. Section 3790-A(2)(E) (2017), amended by PL 2023 Ch. 21 (effective June 29, 2023).  The raise in FPL percentage expands program accessibility to help a broader population earn marketable credentials and help address Maine's workforce shortages.  This year's FPLs were published at https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines.  See also, "Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines", Federal Register 88:12 (January 19, 2023) pages 3424-3425, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-01-19/pdf/2023-00885,pdf.  The Department proposes to incorporate these figures effective June 29, 2023.

The proposed rule change provides an expansion of income eligibility.  The increase to the gross income test for HOPE allows some HOPE applicants and participants to remain income eligible when their wages increase, some due to change to Maine's minimum wage and allows a wider group of parents to be deemed income eligible.  Department staff will continue to issue HOPE benefits to eligible participants following the updated Federal Poverty Guidelines. 

See https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/about/rulemaking for rules and related rulemaking documents.

PUBLIC HEARING:  No public hearing is scheduled.

COMMENT DEADLINE:  Monday, July 24, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.  Written public comments may be submitted via the link at https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/about/rulemaking.

CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING: Sheri Wilkens, HOPE Program Manager, Department of Health and Human Services - Office for Family Independence, 109 Capitol Street, 11 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330-6841. Telephone: (207) 624-4103, FAX: (207) 287-3455.  TT Users Call Maine Relay - 711. Email: Sheri.Wilkens@maine.gov



Office: Office for Family Independence

Routine technical

Email: Sheri.Wilkens@maine.gov

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