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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Worried about winter heating bills? HEAP can help

winter

For people with low or modest incomes – including many older adults and people with disabilities – high energy prices are a frightening prospect as we head towards cold weather.

But help is available through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). HEAP is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency's Office of Community Assistance. It is designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating.

If you are eligible for assistance, the amount of your one-time HEAP benefit will depend on:

1) federal funding levels,
2) how many people live with you,
3) total household income ($20,598 max income for single households, or $27,878 for couples),
4) and the primary fuel you use to heat your home.

In most cases, the one-time benefit will be a credit applied to your energy bill by your utility company (or fuel vendor).

How to apply

Applications are available online and through a number of community organizations, including Community Action Agencies and Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). Council on Aging (COA) is the AAA for Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties. Applications may be submitted anytime from now through June 30, 2016. 

People who applied last year, and were found eligible, will automatically receive an application in the mail this year. 

Understanding eligibility requirements and completing and submitting benefit applications can be challenging for many older adults – especially those who are homebound. Council on Aging can provide information and assistance to older adults and people with disabilities who wish to apply for the program. In-home assistance is also available. Last year, COA and area senior centers provided information or assistance with HEAP applications to more than 3,500 older and disabled adults in southwest Ohio.   

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

Partners in Prime

(513) 867-1998

Middletown Area Senior Center

(513) 423-1734 ext. 225

Clermont County

Clermont County Senior Services

(513) 536-4033

Clinton County

Clinton County Community Action Program

(937) 382-1234

Hamilton County

Council on Aging

(513) 721-1025

Cincinnati Area Senior Services

(513) 559-4523

MARIELDERS, INC

(513) 271-5588

Warren County

Warren County Community Services

(513) 846-9173

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

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