November 6, 2012
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will begin distributing funds to help pay for heating bills to eligible applicants on November 1st. HEAP is a federally funded program designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating.
Emergency HEAP, which is administered by Community Action Organization (CAO) of Scioto County, is available on a once per season basis for customers who have been disconnected or received a shut-off notice or who have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel. The amount of the benefit depends on what type of fuel is used. To be eligible for Emergency HEAP, customers must have a household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. For example, a four-person household must earn less than $46,100 annually to be eligible and a single person household must earn less than $22,340 annually to be eligible.
Residents in Scioto County also have the option of enrolling in a longer-term plan for regulated utilities that allows them to pay a percentage of their income rather than high bills they cannot afford. This program is known as Percentage of Income Payment Plan or PIPP Plus. Under PIPP Plus, customers pay 6 percent of their monthly income or $10 a month, whichever is greater, to both electric and gas utilities. Customers in all-electric homes pay 10 percent or $10, whichever is greater. This stays the same for 12 months and then income is rechecked. The key to this program is keeping up with on-time payments. To be eligible for PIPP Plus, customers must have a household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and be a customer of a regulated gas or electric company. For example, a four-person household must earn less than $34,575 annually to be eligible.
To apply for the Emergency HEAP program, applicants must bring the following documents to a face-to-face interview at Community Action:
1. Income documentation for all household members for the past three months. 2. Social Security Cards for all household members. 3. Electric Bill. 4. Proof of heating source.
Scioto County residents can call Community Action at 740-354-7541 to make an appointment for the Emergency HEAP program beginning October 25th.