Emergency HEAP assistance available

(Plain Press, November 2006) The Emergency HEAP program will officially start on November 1st. Anyone whose income is 175% of poverty or below and has either received a disconnection notice or has already been disconnected from their gas or electric supplier can apply. If you qualify, a $175 benefit that will be sent to the utility company or companies to credit to your account.

Beginning on Nov. 1st, this will be enough to either stop a disconnection or get your service reconnected. It works for Dominion East Ohio Gas, First Energy and Cleveland Public Power but can only be used once each winter. You will also be asked to agree and follow a payment plan. If you have already been disconnected, you will also have to pay a $20.00 reconnection fee.

 Application is by appointment and can be made by calling 518-4014. Once your appointment is scheduled, the utility company will be informed.  All utilities have agreed to then hold off scheduled disconnections until 5 days after the appointment date. If you show up for the appointment and qualify for the benefit, there will be no disconnection.  If you miss the appointment, you can still be disconnected.

Went going to your appointment you will need current proof of income (if wages, you will need at least the past 90 days in paystubs), social security numbers for all household members, a photo id, and current gas and electric bills (even if you are only seeking assistance on one utility).

Some points to remember:  Once again eligibility is up to 175% of poverty. DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU THAT YOU MUST HAVE CHILDREN TO QUALIFY IF YOU ARE BETWEEN 150 AND 175% OF POVERTY. That is not true! Also, if you call the appointment line and it is busy, try late at night or early morning like 2 or 3. As strange as it sounds it may work.

If you have questions or concerns that are not answered, you can contact Tim Walters at the May Dugan Center at 631-5800.


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