Remaining comfortable at home during the winter is vital to the health and well-being of everyone – especially older adults and those with disabilities. However, sometimes paying the bills to keep the heat on can be difficult for those with low or modest incomes. Luckily, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is available to offer help to those who qualify.
Two different HEAP programs offer assistance with home heating costs. Read below for information on each.
Non-Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program
Non-emergency HEAP helps Ohioans at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines pay their heating bills. The benefit is applied directly to the customer’s utility or bulk fuel bill, and can help them manage heating costs.
If an applicant is eligible for assistance, the amount of their one-time HEAP benefit will depend on:
- federal funding levels,
- how many people live in the household,
- total household income ($22,330/year for one household member and $30,170/year for a couple are the maximums for 2020-2021), and
- the primary fuel used to heat the home.
HEAP benefits are applied to an individual’s energy bill after January 1, 2021. Applications for the HEAP non-emergency program will be accepted November 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.
HEAP Winter Crisis Program
The HEAP Winter Crisis Program is an emergency program that helps low-income Ohio households maintain their utility service. To qualify, applicants must:
- have been threatened with disconnection,
- have been disconnected,
- need to pay to transfer service,
- have less than a 25 percent supply of bulk fuel in their tank, or
- have a household member diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020
They must also have a household income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Applications for the Winter Crisis Program will be accepted November 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.
How to Apply
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 HEAP programs.
Older adults and people with disabilities who wish to apply for either of the HEAP programs should call one of the numbers below, depending on where they live:
- Butler County
- Central Connections: (513) 217-2481
- Clermont County
- Clermont County Senior Services: (513) 536-4015
- Clinton County
- Clinton County Community Action Program: (937) 382-1234
- Hamilton County
- Council on Aging: (513) 721-1025 (select Option 2 from menu)
- Community Action Agency: (513) 685-4478
- Warren County
- Warren County Community Services: (513) 970-6737