Counties offer assistance for home heating

CONYERS - Seniors and homebound residents of Rockdale and Newton counties who are in need of help to heat their homes this winter can apply for assistance this week with the Partnership for Community Action Inc. in Conyers.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, provides financial assistance to residents based on income. Applications are being accepted only from senior citizens 65 years or older who are homebound and households with individuals who have a life-threatening illness.

Rockdale County residents can call for an appointment to apply at the Partnership for Community Action office at 957 Bank St., Conyers. The telephone number is 770-760-8750. Newton County residents are asked to call 770-760-8750.

According to Mohammad Saleem, president and CEO of Partnership for Community Action Inc., the program has been expanded and assistance increased. Last year, payments ranged from $210 to $250. This year, payments will range from $310 or $350.

The increase was spurred by new federal appropriations for LIHEAP approved this year and in response to a jump in enrollment during the previous winter, Saleem said.

Applications are being accepted from senior residents and those with severe illnesses only through Dec. 1. At that date the heating assistance program will be open to the general public, Saleem said.

Proof of income for all household's members 18 years old and older for the previous 30 days is required. If income is irregular, the requirement is for 90 days of proof. Also required are photo identification, legal proof of age for household members 65 years old or older and 17 years old or younger, proof of life-threatening disability, and proof of Social Security numbers.

For more information, call the Conyers office or the Partnership for Community Action, Inc. main office in Clarkston at 404-929-2451.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.