For seniors worried about winter heating bills, HEAP can help

Monday, October 16, 2017

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. 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 ($21,105 max income for single households, or $28,420 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). The one-time benefit is typically credited in January depending on when an individual applies for assistance.

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 any time from now through June 30, 2018.

Understanding eligibility requirements and completing and submitting benefit applications can be challenging for many older adults – especially those who are homebound. Working with our community partners, Council on Aging provides 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 our community partners provided information or assistance with HEAP applications to almost 2,000 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
Central Connections (513) 423-1734 ext. 225
Clermont County Clermont County Senior Services (513) 724-1255
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 (866) 747-1042

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).