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DHR's heating assistance for elderly, homebound and low-income Families, began November 1

With winter approaching the Department of Human Resources (DHR) will again provide heating assistance for low income Georgians through LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The $20 million federally funded energy assistance program will help low-income families, the elderly and the disabled with heating bills.

Beginning on Nov. 1, the homebound and the elderly (65-plus) may apply for assistance at their local community action agencies. The program will open up to other eligible individuals and families beginning Dec. 1. Payments will be made directly to the home energy supplier for electricity, propane, wood, coal or kerosene. The maximum payment for qualifying applicants is $250. Local community action agencies will accept all applications and administer available funds on a first-come first-served basis. Applicants are urged to call 800-869-1150 or visit http://gcaaonline.org to locate the nearest community action agency in their area.

To qualify for the LIHEAP program applicants must have a yearly household income less than or equal to 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, these poverty guidelines are published each year by the US Department of Health and Human Services. For a one-person household, that would be $15,315; for two people $20,535; for three people $25,755; for four people $30,975; for five people $36,195; for six people $41,415; for seven people $46,635; for eight people $51,855; and for each additional person, add $5,220 in household income.

To apply, applicants must provide a copy of their most recent heating bill or a statement of service from their heating provider. Applicants must also provide proof of household income-for the last 30 days, such as a pay stub or letter from an employer. Applicants are required to have a valid Social Security Number for all household members. Those who have a need are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.