Update on local HEAP program efforts

Staff Report

OHIO VALLEY — Gallia Meigs Community Action Agency’s (GMCAA) Emergency HEAP Program began Monday, Nov. 1 and will continue through March 31, 2022.

“As the weather will be turning colder, we are continuing to assisting our customers with their main heating utility and/or furnace repair,” stated a news release from the agency.

The IVR phone number (Interactive Voice Response System), 740-444-4371, stills provides customers access 7 days a week / 24 hours a day for making an appointment by phone with customers asked to listen until the end of the recording.

”At the end you will be given a confirmation number,” further stated the release. “You must have that for your appointment to be completed. You will have to have your social security number or client number and your gas and electric account number in order to make your appointment. Please note, an appointment may not extend a scheduled utility shut-off.”

Emergency HEAP provides assistance to households that have had utilities disconnected, face the threat of disconnection, or have 25% or less supply of bulk fuel, or less than 10-day supply of wood or coal. The program allows a one-time payment per heating season to restore or retain home heating. The potential dollar amount will be up to $175 for regulated utilities, up to $750 for unregulated utilities, up to $550 for wood, coal or pellets and up to $900 for propane/fuel oil, etc., and up to 8 cylinders of propane.

The income guidelines for Regular HEAP and Emergency HEAP are the same. However, Regular HEAP requires the previous 12 months income while the past month income is acceptable for Emergency HEAP. The 12-month period or one month period for the help is determined from date of application making it possible for some with decreased income during these periods to qualify later in the program. Examples of these types of situations could occur from layoff, strike, retirement, disability or death of a spouse or household member and any changes due to the COVID-19 virus. Documentation verifying all household income must be provided when applying for E-HEAP or Regular HEAP. Also a copy of the applicant’s most recent gas/electric bill is required. It is also required that you provide social security cards, for all household members. Customers will also be asked for proof of landlord, including address and phone number. If the grandparents have custody of the children in the home, GMCAA will need the custody papers also.

The following income levels by household size should be used to determine eligibility. These income guidelines represent the 175% calculation and are revised annually. Allowable annual income for a 1 person household is $22,540.00, 2- $30,485.00, 3- $38,430.00, 4- $46,375.00, 5- $54,320.00, 6- $62,265.00, 7- $70,210.00, 8- $78,155.00. Households with more than eight members should add an additional $7,945.00 per member to the yearly income.

Both Emergency HEAP and Regular HEAP applications will be completed at GMCAA’s new main office, located at 8317 S.R. 7 N , Cheshire, Ohio.

Required Documents:

Proof of gross income for everyone in the household for the past three months:

Wages: Weekly – last four paystubs/Biweekly – last two paystubs;

Utility Allowance/Lease;

SS/SSI/SSD – bank statement or current award letter;

PERS/VA/SERS/PENSION – copy of current award letter;

OWF/TANF/DA — print out of the last three months or bank statement;

Child support received or paid out, (documented proof for the last month).

Social Security Cards for everyone in the household;

Current heating bill or statement (Columbia Gas/Knox, propane, fuel oil, coal, or wood);

Current electric bill (AEP or Buckeye);

If you pay out of pocket for health insurance, documented proof for three months — Aflac, AARP, Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc.;

Medicaid Card or case number (if applicable);

Landlord’s name, address, and phone number (if renting).

Important changes for receiving assistance for Winter E-HEAP:

1. GMCCA will not be having face to face interviews; all will be by telephone calls at time of appointment.

2. GMCAA will have a drop box for customer’s convenience at the main office. Please make sure to drop off all documentations before the day of your appointment. The box is located at 8317 SR 7 N, Cheshire.

3. GMCAA will have four walk-ins per day, however, upon entering the office, masks are not required but recommended, those at the agency are still practicing social distance and will accept a customer’s paperwork and contact them at a later time.

“We apologize for any inconvenience that the virus has caused,” stated the news release. “We are doing everything we can to make sure that you and our staff is protected.”

Once again, for an appointment call 1-740-444-4371.

Information provided by GMCAA.

Staff Report