Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is the local name in the state of Ohio for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal-funded but local-run initiative to help low-income families to pay their energy bills when they skyrocket, specially during the hot summer or the chilling winter. In Ohio, it is administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA).
Currently, you could apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Summer Crisis Program through September 30, 2023, which is intended to help you cover your increasing energy bills due to the need of cooling for your house. Here’s all you need to know if you’re looking forward to applying and get this financial boost.
The HEAP program is here to help your household with the needed money
Northeast Ohio residents are bracing themselves for what could be a scorching summer, and with it comes the prospect of significantly higher electric bills. However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon for those in need. A lifeline is being extended to Ohioans who find themselves at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines, offering them a chance to alleviate their financial burden when it comes to electricity expenses. Moreover, assistance is not limited to just bill payments; it also extends to the potential acquisition of air conditioning equipment.
In a recent press release, authorities reminded Ohioans the eligibility criteria for this much-needed relief. Eligible candidates include low-income households with a senior member aged 60 or above, provided they can furnish medical documentation attesting to the necessity of cooling assistance for the health and well-being of a household member.
Additionally, those who have received disconnect notices, experienced service termination, are in the process of establishing new electric service, or simply require air conditioning for their homes all fall under the ambit of this program.
The initiative aims not only to mitigate the financial strain imposed by escalating electricity bills but also to ensure that vulnerable individuals, particularly seniors and those with health concerns, are protected from the potentially life-threatening consequences of extreme heat.
HEAP program in Ohio: Claim up to $800 to pay your bills
According to the press release, an assistance of up to $800 can be applied to an electric service bill, or to purchase an air conditioner or fans. Also, the HEAP program can give you up to $1,500 if you have to repair your damaged central air conditioner.
Cuyahoga County residents can call (216) 350-8008 to make an appointment, or they can click here to schedule an appointment. Appointments will be conducted by phone or video conference, making it easier for those with mobility problems.
You’ll be requested the next documents:
- Copies of their most recent energy bills (gas, electric, water, and sewer)
- Photo Identification of all the applicants
- Social Security card numbers for every household member
- Proof of US citizenship or legal residency for every one of the household members
- Income verification for the past 30 days or 12 months for each household member over the age of eighteen,
- Seasonal employees need to bring 12 months of income, Self-Employment may provide a copy of their filed IRS Form 1040 (including all pages) or IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter, (Current Paystubs, recent award/benefit letters from SSI, SSDI, Social Security benefit, Pension benefit, unemployment benefit, Child Support, OWF, Utility Assistance (CMHA, Eden, section 8 letter)
- For households with no income, an IRS Tax Transcript is required. Renters living in multi-unit dwellings should provide their landlord’s name and contact data. When residents qualify for and apply for Summer Crisis benefits, applications for a regular HEAP benefit and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus) will automatically be submitted to the Ohio Development Services Agency.
- Proof of disability, if it applies and it’s asked by the officials
- Physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health (if there isn’t a household member over the age of 60)