Heating assistance available


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The Ohio Department of Development and Highland County Community Action Org. Inc. want to remind Ohioans that assistance is available to help with their home energy bills.

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps Ohioans at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines pay their heating bills. Ohioans who are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected from their utility service, transferring services, establishing new services, at or below 25 percent fuel, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 12 months, may also be eligible for the HEAP Winter Crisis Program, which started on Nov. 1, 2021.

Ohioans can visit energyhelp.ohio.gov to apply online, download a copy of the application, or find contact information for a local energy assistance provider. For residents of Highland County, the Highland County Community Action Organization is the designated local agency. Individuals will need to have copies of the following documents to include with their application:

* Most recent utility bills;

* A list of all household members (including birth dates and Social Security numbers);

* Proof of income for the past 30 days for all household members (12 months for certain income types);

* Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency for all household members;

* Proof of disability (if applicable).

HEAP benefits are applied to an individual’s energy bill after Jan. 1. If you need immediate assistance with your energy bills, contact your local energy assistance provider. A list of providers can be found at energyhelp.ohio.gov. For crisis assistance, contact your local provider. In Highland County, call 937-3933458 or 937-981-9718 to make an appointment or for more information.

Applications for the HEAP Winter Crisis program must be received by March 31, 2022. The last day to apply for the regular HEAP benefit is May 31, 2022. For more information on the programs, visit energyhelp.ohio.gov or call your local Energy Assistance Provider.

Submitted by Laura Bosier, executive assistant, Highland County Community Action Org., Inc.

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