Locals can get help with heat bills

CONYERS — As the colder months approach, Georgia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) is once again preparing to help those in need with the cost of heating.

Residents age 65 and older or who are homebound can now apply for assistance through the department’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. All other eligible families may apply for assistance beginning Dec. 1.

Those seeking assistance must contact their local Community Action Agencies. For residentss in Rockdale and Newton counties, the local agency is Partnership for Community Action, located at 1261 Commercial Drive in Conyers. For more information, call 404-537-4300 or call Partnership for Community Action main line at 404-929-2500.

The federally funded program assists low-income, elderly and disabled Georgians with heating bills through direct payments to home energy suppliers. Funds are administered through local Community Action Agencies on a first-come, first-served basis through April 30, 2014, or until all funds are exhausted.

Depending on income and household size, those who qualify for the program will receive between $310 and $350 toward their home heating bills.

To qualify, a family’s annual income must be less than or equal to 60 percent of the median income for a Georgia family. For a household of one, the income threshold is $21,029; the income threshold for a household of five is $46,912.

All applicants will be asked to provide their most recent heating bill or statement of service from their heating providers, as well as the following information on every member of their household: Social Security numbers, proof of citizenship and proof of income for the last 30 days. Proof of income can include, but is not limited to, a paycheck stub, a letter granting public assistance, Social Security or unemployment benefits.