Sandra Edward’s, Emergency Services Division Director, said that the SSA will begin booking appointments on Friday, Oct. 29, at 8 a.m. Appointments can be made by coming to the office or calling in. However, she stressed that an appointment “may not extend a scheduled utility shut-off.”
Edwards explained that HEAP provides financial heating assistance for our area’s neediest residents, who may be on a fixed income or among the working poor. “It helps senior citizens and families with children avoid the choice of heating or eating, “she said, stressing that “people who need help should choose HEAP.” Eligible households must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
“Most of the HEAP recipients are our neighbors who are living on fixed income or working for low wages. They are the elderly or single parent household and our disabled. HEAP gives them the extra help they need to make it through the cold Ohio winter,” said Edwards.
Emergency HEAP provides assistance to households that have had utilities disconnected, face the threat of disconnection or have 10 days or less supply of bulk fuel.
The program allows a one-time payment per heating season to restore or retain home heating services for AEP, Columbia Gas, BREC and Knox Energy. For propane and fuel oil clients, the payment may cover up to 200 gallons for propane/bottled gas or fuel oil. Clients heating with wood or coal will be assisted also. The amount allowable for assistance will be determined before Nov. 1. Homeowners or renters may qualify if their total household income is at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines, Edwards explained.
The Regular HEAP program offers heating assistance once per heating season to low income households while defraying the high cost of home heating. Regular HEAP pays a portion of eligible households’ winter heating bills. The amount of assistance is determined by total household income, the number of people in the household and the type of heating fuel used.
The income guidelines for both programs are the same. However, Regular HEAP requires the previous 12 months income while the past three months income is acceptable for Emergency HEAP. The 12-month period or three-month period is determined from date of application making it possible for some with decreased income during these periods to qualify later in the program.
Examples of these type situations could occur from layoff, strike, retirement, disability or death of a spouse or household member. Documentation verifying income must be provided when applying for HEAP. Also a copy of the applicant’s recent electric bill is required.
It is also suggested that applicants provide a birth certificate or other form of citizenship for the primary applicant. This can be Passport, Military Service Records, Voters Registration, etc.
The following income levels by household size should be used to determine eligibility. These income guidelines represent the 200% calculation and are revised annually. Allowable annual income for a 1 person household is $21,660, 2 persons $29,140, 3 persons $36,620, 4 persons $44,100, 5 persons $51,580, and 6 persons $59,060. Households with more than six members should add an additional $7,480 to the yearly income.
Both Emergency HEAP and Regular HEAP applications can be completed at the Gallia C.A.A. Heap Office, 859 3rd Avenue, Gallipolis, Central Office, 8010 N. SR 7, Cheshire or the Meigs C.A.A. HMG/Heap Office at 122 N. 2nd Street, Middleport. Applications will be taken by appointment from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. and from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
For those who are employed, CAA offices will offer evening appointments until 5:30 in some instances.
As in previous years, the CAA is still operating under the appointment system to apply for Emergency HEAP. Office telephone numbers are 992-6629 for Meigs County. and 367-7341 for Gallia County.
Appointments will be scheduled bi-weekly on the scheduled dates of Friday Oct. 29, Nov. 12, Dec. 3, Dec. 17, Jan. 7, 2011, and Jan. 21, 2011. Each time appointments will be booked for the following two weeks. The toll-free number for Regular HEAP inquiries is 1-800-282-0880. For the hearing impaired with a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD) 1-800-686-1557.
For further information, contact the Cheshire Office at 367-7341 or 992-6629.