Energy Assistance to Begin November 1st
Pace Community Action Agency, Inc. announces November 1st as the start date for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Susan Laughlin, Client Services Manager states, “LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which qualifying households receive a one-time benefit toward their home’s primary heat source.” Pace serves individuals residing in Daviess, Greene, Knox and Sullivan Counties.
Households must be income-qualified for the program, with a combined gross income for the past 3-months at or below 150% of the current OMB Poverty Guidelines. Income limits are as follows:
$4,523 for a household of one $6,090 for a household of two
$7,658 for a household of three $9,225 for a household of four
$10,793 for a household of five $1,568 for each additional member
Those interested in applying for the program must complete the application process, which includes submitting the following documentation at the time of application:
· Completed application listing all members residing in the home including birthdates and social security cards.
· Photo ID for the individual signing the application.
· Gross income for all adults in the household age 18 and over. Program guidelines state the past 3-months’ worth of income must be submitted for each adult in the household. Those receiving social security can submit a bank statement if direct deposited, a 2017 award letter or printout from the Social Security office. Those employed should submit their most recent paystub showing their year to date gross wages.
· Renters must have their landlord complete a Landlord Affidavit and homeowners should submit documentation verifying home ownership such as a deed, mortgage statement, etc.
· Electric and heating bills
Households that are in a disconnect status, or whose utility has already been shut off are required to be seen by a Specialist to determine eligibility, as additional costs may be required to either connect service or prevent disconnect of services. Those individuals should contact their local office to schedule an appointment, as walk-in appointments cannot be accommodated. Those not in a disconnect status can either download an application from the agency website at www.pacecaa.org or contact their local office to have an application mailed to them.
Laughlin states, “changes in guidelines have been made for this program year that should allow more households to qualify.” Those changes include removal of the stipulation that the utility bill must be in the name of a household member. As well, households whose utilities are included in their monthly rent, now qualify for assistance.
Many times, low income households have to choose between paying their utility bill or buying food for their family. Dr. Bertha Proctor, Chief Executive Officer, states “the Energy Assistance Program helps those that are most vulnerable in defraying the high cost of heating their homes in the cold winter months.”
The amount of assistance a household receives is based on a points system and not considered by the amount of their utility bill. A household can receive up to 16 points, with each point equating to $25 towards their primary heat source. An additional $75 is put towards the home’s electric account as well. Points are received based on the amount of household income, type of home, at-risk category, and heat source. Laughlin states, “New to this year, households can receive points by having on-time payments to their utility company. The hope is that this will encourage customers to continue to pay their bills each month. A household can earn up to $50 by having on time payments to both their heat and electric bill.”
Energy Education sessions will also be provided to clients applying for the program. Laughlin states, “As part of the Energy Assistance Program, we also offer an education component in order to provide our clients with practices to use in their home to decrease their energy usage and lower their energy bills.”
During the 2016-2017 Energy Assistance Program, 2,936 households applied for assistance, with just over $1,440,000 in benefits being applied to the utility account(s) of qualifying households. 1,659 individuals received Energy Education counseling and 86 window air conditioner units were distributed to qualifying households.
Information on the Energy Assistance Program and other programs offered by Pace Community Action Agency can be obtained by contacting our local office located at the address below during normal business hours.
2103 Cosby Road
Washington, IN 47501
Open: Monday & Tuesday
9:00 – 4:00, closed 12 - 1
525 N. 4th Street
Vincennes, IN 47591
(812) 882-7927, ext. 2
Open: Monday – Thursday
8:00 – 4:00, closed 12 - 1
Greene & Sullivan Counties
11 NW 7th Street
Linton, IN 47441
Open: Wednesday – Friday
9:00 – 4:00, closed 12 -1
Pace Community Action Agency, Inc. is a private not-for-profit Community Action Agency established to provide support services to improve the community and encourage self-reliance. Services are provided without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, or status as a veteran.
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