HEAP Summer Crisis Program ending Sept. 30

Staff Report

OHIO VALLEY — Ohio Development Services Agency and Gallia-Meigs CAA have been helping income-eligible Ohioans maintain their utility service through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program since July 1st. The program helps eligible Ohioans pay an electric bill, purchase an air conditioning unit or fan, or pay for central air conditioning repairs. This year, the program will be ending Sept. 30, 2020.

“This year, we extended the length of the program and expanded eligibility requirements so we can help more Ohioans during this health crisis,” Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency said. “We’re working with Gallia-Meigs CAA every day to help Ohioans in need.”

In 2019, more than 232 families in Gallia and Meigs counties were assisted through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program. Included in those families, 99 received air conditioners and 48 received fans.

The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with an older household member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health. Examples of conditions can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, asthma, etc. This year, households that were diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020, have a disconnect notice, have been shut off, or are trying to establish new service on their electric bill are also eligible for assistance.

Ohioans can visit energyhelp.ohio.gov to start their application prior to their required appointment. This year appointments will be held through phone interviews at Gallia-Meigs CAA.. To schedule an appointment call our IVR system at 740-444-4371. We have installed a drop box at our Cheshire office where all documentations required can be put into an envelope and dropped off. Please provide this information before your appointment.

Eligible households can receive up to $500 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $800 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to their utility bill, or 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 to qualify for assistance. For a family of four the annual income must be at or below $45,850.00.

Also new this year, Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP) who meet the above criteria may be eligible for assistance towards their default PIPP payment, first PIPP payment, central air conditioning repairs, or may receive an air conditioning unit and/or fan.

For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program locally and what is needed to apply, call 740-444-4371. Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling (800) 282-0880.

Information provided by Gallia Meigs Community Action Agency.

Staff Report