Assistance With Heating Bills Now Available Through Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
By Sandy Bedilion, HEAP Coordinator
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is available to eligible Ohioans to help cover the cost of home heating this winter. HEAP also provides a Winter Crisis Program (WCP) for those who need emergency assistance.
HEAP applications are now available at Washington-Morgan Community Action which people can fill out and mail to the state themselves. The Winter Crisis Program began on November 3rd and runs through March 31, 2004.
Regular HEAP is designed to help eligible Ohioans meet the rising cost of home heating during the winter. The state determines the amount of a one-time per program year credit to be applied to your primary heat source. The amount is based on where you live in the state (those north of us get a little more because their winters are colder), the type of heat you have (those who have propane gas or fuel oil get a little more because this type heat is more expensive than natural gas, electric, wood or coal). The other two factors taken into consideration are the size of your household and the amount of your total household income. Once the state has reviewed your application and determined the amount of your assistance, they contact your heating utility with the amount of credit to be put on your bill. They also send you a letter telling you the amount of your assistance. If you have bulk fuel, you will probably get a voucher in the mail after your receive your notification letter, although there are times when the bulk fuel vendor is sent your assistance directly.
The Winter Crisis Program is also a one-time per program year assistance but, unlike Regular HEAP, requires a face-to-face interview with an adult household member at our Washington County intake site, 218 Putnam Street, Marietta or our Morgan County site, 50 W. Third Street, Malta. In order to participate in this program you must have your heating utility(ies) shut off or threatened with disconnection. You can also get assistance if you are down to a ten day or less bulk fuel supply. The maximum amount of assistance for bulk fuel is $250 and the maximum amount for heating utilities is $175.
Also, for homeowners, WCP can pay for minor furnace repairs up to $175.
We do not make appointments for WCP assistance. We take applicants on a first come, first served basis. In order to expedite the application process, please read the following:
Winter Crisis Program
The HEAP Winter Crisis Program begins on November 3, 2003 and ends March 31, 2004. You can apply for assistance only one time each program year.If you do not need immediate assistance, it would be to your advantage to wait until a later date, not the first two weeks, as this will be when the wait will be the longest. If you have small children, try to find a baby sitter for them, as they get very tired waiting. If you must bring them with you, please make sure you have diapers and food to last several hours, as your waiting time could be long.
The Washington-Morgan Community Action office building in Washington County opens at 8:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm. This year, the office will be open until 6:00 pm on Wednesday to accommodate the working public who cannot come in during regular office hours. In Morgan County the office will open at 8:00 am and close at 4:30 pm. Starting in December, the office will be open until 6:00 pm on Wednesday.
Bring with you: Proof of income (all household members) for the last three months (13 weeks). Pay stubs, Social Security print out, pension award letter, employer statement, etc.
Social Security numbers for all household members 2 yrs of age or older.
Birth dates of all household members.
BOTH heating utility bills (gas and electric, one or both at shut-off status) unless, you are all electric.
If you have bulk fuel (propane, fuel, coal, wood) you must be down to a 10 day supply or less.
NOTE: If you are receiving SSD you must have a statement from Social Security saying that it is disability income. If you do not have this statement and bring in only a bank statement or copy of your check, we will treat it as regular social security and you will not get the “weighted” assistance for being disabled. This is for SSD only, not SSI.
Please check to make sure you have all the above items needed for assistance. We do not want you to wait for a long period of time to only find out that we are unable to assist you because of lack of information.