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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Older adults and people with certain health conditions can apply for help with summer cooling costs

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For low-income older adults and people with chronic health conditions, staying cool and comfortable during the summer months can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. 

Help is available through Ohio's HEAP Summer Crisis Program.  HEAP - the Home Energy Assistance Program - is a federally funded program designed to assist eligible Ohio residents with their utility bills.

The Summer Crisis Program provides assistance to low-income households with an elderly member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member's health. This can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or asthma, which affects more than 850,000 Ohioans, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

Eligible households can receive up to $300, if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $500, if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to their utility bill or applied to central air conditioning repair costs. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. Applications for assistance through SCP are accepted July 1 through August 31.  

To qualify for the Summer Crisis Program:

  • household income must be at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines ($21,105 for a single individual or $28,420 for a household of 2)
  • household must include someone who is at least 60 years old or must provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member's health
  • Fans and air conditioners may also be available (Availability will vary in each county.  Distribution of available fans/air conditioners is at the discretion of the local Community Action Agency.) 

How to apply

You must contact your local Community Action Agency to apply.  An in-person appointment may be required (home visits may be available).  Apply July 1 through August 31. 

Older adults and people with disabilities who wish to apply for the program should call one of the numbers below, depending on where they live:

Butler County

Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families

(513) 868-9300

Clermont County

Clermont County Community Services

(513) 732-2277 ext. 3

Clinton County

Clinton County Community Action Program

(937) 382-1234

Hamilton County

Cincinnati/Hamilton County Community Action Agency

(513) 569-1850

Warren County

Warren County Community Services

(866) 747-1042

For more information about HEAP and the Summer Crisis Program, call the Ohio Development Services Agency at 1-800-282-0880 or 1-800-686-1557 (TDD line for hearing impaired clients).

Click here for summer safety tips for seniors.

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