01/05/14 — Energy program has more money

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Energy program has more money

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 5, 2014 1:50 AM


Nearly 1,800 Wayne County households have benefited from $391,980 through two energy assistance programs since the first of October.

There is money remaining in both the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) and the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) through the Wayne County Department of Social Services to help eligible county residents with their heating needs.

According to DSS officials, since Nov. 1, 385 households with residents age 60 and older have received a total of $85,000 through LIEAP.

Another 1,375 households have received a total of $306,980 through the CIP since Oct. 1.

LIEAP provides a one-time vendor payment to help eligible households pay heating bills, while CIP funds help low-income people in times of a heating or cooling emergency.

Both programs are funded with federal dollars distributed by the state.

CIP applicants must meet an income test and be in a cooling- or heating-related emergency. At least one person in the household must be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen who meets eligibility criteria.

Eligible households may receive assistance more than once during the state's fiscal year, July 1 to June 30, but the yearly total cannot exceed $600.

CIP payments are made directly to the vendor on behalf of the applicant -- often to forestall a termination of services.

LIEAP funds are 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 the 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.

Payments are made directly to the service provider, such as power, gas or oil companies during the month of the application.

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.

Applications for LIEAP 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.

CIP applications are taken year-around.

There are no automatic approvals.