12/01/13 — Energy assistance applications taken beginning Monday

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Energy assistance applications taken beginning Monday

By From staff reports
Published in News on December 1, 2013 1:50 AM

Wayne County residents may begin applying Monday for energy assistance through the federally funded Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

Applications will be taken through Jan. 31 or until funds are exhausted at the Wayne County Department of Social Services, 301 N. Herman St. all day Monday through Thursday. Application also are being taken Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until noon at the Senior Center, 2001 E. Ash St.

There are no automatic approvals.

The program provides a one-time vendor payment to help eligible households pay heating bills.

It is available only to households with at least one resident age 60 and above, or a disabled person receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services.

Any household can potentially receive benefits from Feb. 1 through March 31 or until funds are exhausted.

A household that applies must:

* Have at least one U.S. citizen who meets the eligibility criteria

* Meet an income test

* Have reserves at or below $2,200

* Be responsible for its heating bills.

In prior years, payments were sent directly to recipients. However, the state General Assembly passed a law requiring that payments be made directly to the service provider, such as power, gas or oil companies during the month of the application.

The law also changed the amount of money that is awarded. In previous years, the amount ranged from $60 to $120. Now, people who heat with wood, natural gas, coal or electricity are eligible for $200, while people who heat with fuel oil, kerosene or LP gas are eligible for $400.