Maine Revised Statutes

§16. Access to financial records of deposit accounts of recipients of public assistance

1. Definitions.  For the purposes of this section, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Financial institution" means a trust company, savings bank, industrial bank, commercial bank, savings and loan association or credit union organized under the laws of this State or otherwise authorized to do business in this State. [1985, c. 819, Pt. A, §24 (REEN).]
B. "Match" means a comparison by name and social security number of individuals included in any public assistance roll with individuals included in records of deposit accounts in any financial institution. [1985, c. 819, Pt. A, §24 (REEN).]
C. "Public assistance" means aid, assistance or benefits available through:
(1) A program of temporary assistance for needy families administered in this State pursuant to chapter 1053-B or the Parents as Scholars program pursuant to chapter 1054-B;
(2) A program of medical assistance administered in this State pursuant to chapter 855; or
(3) Any other program that is based on need and is conducted or administered by this State. [1997, c. 530, Pt. A, §7 (AMD).]
D. "Public assistance roll" means a list of individuals who are receiving aid, assistance or benefits in this State under one or more public assistance programs. The list may include individuals whose applications for aid, assistance or benefits are pending at the time of the match. [1985, c. 819, Pt. A, §24 (REEN).]
[ 1997, c. 530, Pt. A, §7 (AMD) .]
2. Verification procedure.  Upon written request from the commissioner and at the expense of the department, each financial institution in this State shall match its records of deposit accounts against public assistance rolls provided to the financial institution by the department and shall compile for the department a list of accounts that, as a result of the match, appear to be owned in whole or in part by recipients of or applicants for public assistance. The list of accounts shall include the name and social security number of each matched applicant or recipient and the type of deposit account, the account number and the account balance that appear in the records of the financial institution. The department shall be responsible for making its computer data compatible with the data of any financial institution with which a match is sought.
The department may not automatically terminate or deny public assistance benefits solely on the basis of information received through a match, nor shall anything in this section be construed to create a lien on or otherwise encumber deposit accounts that are subject to a match. The department shall ensure that the privacy of individuals involved in matching will be protected to the maximum extent possible.
[ 1985, c. 819, Pt. A, §24 (REEN) .]
3. Repeal. 
[ 1985, c. 668, §2 (RP) .]
1983, c. 784, §4 (NEW). 1985, c. 668, §2 (AMD). 1985, c. 819, §A24 (REEN). 1997, c. 530, §A7 (AMD).