As many older and disabled Ohioans struggle to cope with the summer heat, COAD/RSVP of the Ohio Valley will be available to assist income-eligible Ohioans receive help with their utility services through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program, which assists households tackle their utility bills, or obtain air conditioning units. The Summer Crisis program will run through Sept. 30.
According to Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, the length of the program has been extended this year, and the eligibility requirements have been expanded so more Ohioans can be helped, especially with the current health crisis created by COVID-19.
“We are working every day to help Ohians in need,” Mihalik said.
The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with an older household member (at least 60 years of age or older), or households which can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health. Examples of conditions include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Asthma, Bronchitis, and other lung diseases. This year, households that were diagnosed with COVID-19, have a disconnect notice, have had utilities shut off, or are trying to establish new service for utilities are eligible for assistance.
Ohioans can visit energy.help.ohio.gov to start their application prior to their required appointment, which is conducted by Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency. For assistance in how to schedule an appointment, applicants can contact COAD/RSVP of the Ohio Valley at 740.286.4918. Eligible households can receive up to $500 if they are customers of a regulated utility, or up to $800 if they are customers of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives or municipal utilities companies. The assistance can be applied to their utility bill, or may be used to purchase an air-conditioning unit or fan, or pay for central air-conditioning repairs. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines. For example, a family of four earning at or below $45,850 would be eligible for the program. To check if your household income is within guidelines, you may call COAD/RSVP of the Ohio Valley for more information.
Also new this year, Ohioans who are enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP) who meet the above criteria may be eligible for assistance toward their default PIPP payment, first PIPP payment, or central air conditioning repairs or purchase of an air conditioning unit and/or fans.
For more information on completing your application and being referred for assistance, please contact COAD/RSVP of the Ohio Valley at 740-286-4918, or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.gov or by calling 1-800-282-0880.
Information provided by COAD/RSVP of the Ohio Valley.