With just two weeks left to apply for assistance to pay heating bills, staff of Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program is gearing up for those who may have been putting off applying for assistance. The program will accept applications until Friday, March 30.
EHEAP operates each year from Nov. 1 to March 31. For this year’s program, warmer than usual temperatures and new utility rules have resulted in fewer requests for heating assistance than in the past. In February, a total of 367 households in the WSOS four-county service area were approved for assistance, just five households fewer than for the same period last year. However, this is far fewer than the 518 in January this year.
To date, the number of households approved for assistance is fewer that those served in the 2011 program. WSOS Basic Needs Specialist, Tony Lindenberger, said that with the deadline to apply for assistance looming, he expects more applications.
In February, the number served in each of the WSOS counties is as follows:
• Wood County — 104 households for a total of $14,105
• Ottawa County — 46 households for a total of $11,146
• Sandusky County — 113 households for a total of $11,310 • Seneca County — 104 households for a total of $18,993
EHEAP provides one-time assistance to income-eligible residents to help them maintain their heating source by paying some of their heating bills. These households receive up to $450 one-time to pay electric and other utilities, and up to $750 for those who use propane and have less than a 10-day supply left in the tank.
The income limits to receive assistance through this program remains at 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. This means that households with one person should earn no more than $21,780 or four-person households should have incomes of no more than $44,700.
Residents who have shut off notices receive assistance with heating bills through EHEAP while assistance for those who do not have shut off notices is available through regular HEAP. Regular HEAP also provides a one-time per heating season assistance with paying some heating bills. However, regular HEAP requires applicants to file their own applications. WSOS has applications available and can assist applicants with the forms. Both EHEAP and HEAP operate until March 31, 2012.
Appointments are required to apply for assistance through EHEAP. To make an appointment, regardless of which county you live in, call 1-888-441-4327.