Last updated: March 31. 2014 4:26PM - 1692 Views
By - choeflich@civitasmedia.com



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CHESHIRE — Emergency HEAP will be ending April 15, but until then the Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency will continue to process applications from qualified applicants who have not earlier applied for assistance.


The Ohio Development Services Agency granted the time extension for assistance a few weeks ago due to the severity of the winter weather. Sandra Edwards, energy services director at the Gallia-Meigs CCA office, stressed that “this action does not mean that clients may be assisted a second time; it only means that those who have not applied as of yet will have until April 15 to apply.”


She said appointments are made daily, except on holidays, starting at 8 a.m. For an appointment, residents may call the Cheshire office at 367-7341 or 992-6629; or walk-in to book an appointment.


“However, an appointment may not extend a scheduled utility shut-off,” she said.


Edwards said 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 of up to $175 per heating season to restore or retain home heating services for AEP and Columbia Gas and up to $450 for BREC and Knox Energy.


For propane and fuel oil clients, she said the payment may cover up to 200 gallons for propane/bottled gas or fuel oil, not to exceed $750. Clients heating with wood or coal will be assisted up to $350 also.


“But if our pledge will not pay what the client owes their utility, they must pay the difference,” said Edwards, who noted that homeowners or renters may qualify if their total household income is at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines.


As for the requirements, Edwards noted that the income guidelines for both Regular and Emergency HEAP programs are the same. However, regular HEAP requires the previous 12 months income figures while the past three months income figure is acceptable for Emergency HEAP. Documentation verifying all household income must be provided when applying for HEAP.


Also she said a copy of the applicant’s recent electric bill is required. It is also required that the applicant provide a birth certificate for the primary applicant, Social Security cards for all household members and proof of student ID or report card if older than 18 and living in the household. Also required will be proof of home ownership or proof of landlord, including address and phone number.


“We cannot process any application without tangible proof of all documentation,” Edwards said, noting that “all required items must be scanned directly to the state office — word of mouth cannot be accepted.


The following income levels by household size should be used to determine eligibility. These income guidelines represent the 175 percent calculation and are revised annually. Allowable annual income for a one person household is $20,108; two people,$27,143; three people, $34,178; four people, $41,213; five people, $48,248; six people, $55,283; seven people, $62,318; and eight people, $69,353. Households with more than eight people should add an additional $7,035 per member to the yearly income.


Both emergency HEAP and regular HEAP applications can be completed at all three offices: Gallia C.A.A. Office, 859 3rd Ave., Gallipolis; Central Office, 8010 N. SR 7, Cheshire; or the Meigs C.A.A. Office at 369 Powell St., Middleport. Applications will be taken by appointment from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

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