2005-10-26 / Other Jenkins News

DHR to begin accepting applications for energy assistance program

With the onset of winter approaching, the Department of Human Resources (DHR) will again provide heating assistance for low income Georgians. DHR’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has received federal funds in the amount of $17.9 million to assist low-income, elderly and disabled Georgians with their heating bills. In addition to these funds allocated by the federal government, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) has allocated an additional $6,000,000 to supplement the LIHEAP program in Georgia. Local community action agencies will administer all available funds.

Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 1, the homebound and the elderly, age 65 and above, may apply for assistance at their local community action agencies. All other eligible families may apply beginning Thursday, Dec. 1. Payments will be made directly to the home energy supplier, for natural gas, electricity, propane, wood, coal or kerosene. Qualifying applicants will receive payments of either $174 or $220. The funds allocated by the PSC, however, can only be used for natural gas. To qualify for the LIHEAP program, applicants must have a yearly household income less than or equal to 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. These poverty guidelines are published each year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For a one-person household that would be $14,355; for two people, $19,245; for three people, $24,135; for four people, $29,025; for five people, $33,915; for six people, $38,805; for seven people, $43,695; for eight people, $48,585; and for each additional person, add $4,890 in household income.

To apply, applicants must bring a copy of their most recent fueling bill or a statement of service from their heating provider to their local community action agency. Applicants must also provide proof of household income-for the last 30 days, such as a pay stub or letter from an employer. Applicants must also have a valid Social Security number for all household members.

The LIHEAP program is operated on a first come, first served basis. Those who have a need are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applicants are urged to call (404) 656-2323 or (800) 869-1150 to locate the nearest community action agency in their area.

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