Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
The federally-funded Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will begin distributing funds to help pay for heating bills to eligible applicants on Nov. 1, to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating.
Emergency HEAP, which is administered by Community Action Organization (CAO) of Scioto County, is available on a once per season basis for customers who have been disconnected or received a shut-off notice or who have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel. The amount of the benefit depends on what type of fuel is used. To be eligible for Emergency HEAP, customers must have a household income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
For example, a four-person household must earn less than $41,213 annually to be eligible and a single person household must earn less than $20,108 annually to be eligible.
Residents in Scioto County also have the option of enrolling in a longer-term plan for regulated utilities that allows them to pay a percentage of their income rather than high bills they cannot afford. This program is known as Percentage of Income Payment Plan, or PIPP Plus. Under PIPP Plus, customers pay 6 percent of their monthly income, or $10 a month, whichever is greater, to both electric and gas utilities. Customers in all-electric homes pay 10 percent or $10, whichever is greater. This stays the same for 12 months and then income is rechecked. The key to this program is keeping up with on-time payments. To be eligible for PIPP Plus, customers must have a household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and be a customer of a regulated gas or electric company.
For example, a four-person household must earn less than $35,325 annually to be eligible.
To apply for the Emergency HEAP program, applicants must bring the following documents to a face-to-face interview at Community Action Organization of Scioto County:
- Income documentation for all household members for the past three months,
- Social Security Cards for all household members,
- Electric Bill; and,
- Proof of heating source.
Scioto County residents can call Community Action at 740-354-7541 to make an appointment for the Winter Crisis HEAP program beginning Oct. 28.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTWriter.