In Youngstown, applicants must make an appointment to apply in person.
Applications for this year's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program are now available for residents of Mercer County at the Mercer County Assistance Office,
Meanwhile, in Youngstown, Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership is scheduling appointments for Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program through its Interactive Voice Response system.
LIHEAP is a federal program that assists low-income individuals who cannot pay their heating bills. Eligible households can receive assistance through a direct payment to vendors who supply their fuel, or through a crisis component during weather-related emergencies, such as a broken furnace, leaking pipes, or terminated utility service.
Homeowners, renters whose rent includes utilities, roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible. Any type of fuel may be used.
The program opens Nov. 8. It will close March 22. Besides household income, grants are based on the type of fuel used and the county of residence.
Mark Wasser, the Mercer County Assistance Office director, urged county residents to apply early for the program.
Those interested in applying may call the assistance office at (724) 983-5000.
To be eligible, household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. A one-person household could not have an income greater than $14,700; two persons, $19,800; three persons, $24,900; four persons, $30,000; five persons, $35,100; six persons, $40,200. For larger households, the guidelines increase by $5,100 for each additional person.
In Youngstown, emergency HEAP applicants must call to make an appointment before coming in to complete an application. The 24 hour/7 days a week toll-free number is (866) 223-1125. A limited number of walk-ins will be taken from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for individuals whose service already has been disconnected. The emergency program is in operation from Nov. 1 through March 30, 2007.
Emergency HEAP provides assistance to low-income households that have had utility service terminated, face the threat of disconnection or have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel.
A maximum, one-time payment of up to $175 per heating season is allowed under the program guidelines to restore or retain services. Bulk fuel households are eligible for up to $450. Customers using coal or wood are eligible for up to $250. People whose service is already off or people using bulk fuel do not need an appointment.
Emergency HEAP applicants must report their total household income for the past three months for all members 18 and older at the face-to-face interview.
Both homeowners and renters are encouraged to apply if their household income is equal to or less than 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Customers must bring both current gas and electric bills to their appointment. The application cannot be completed without all the documentation being presented. Disabled customers must bring proof of their disability. Social Security cards for all household members over the age of 2 are required.
Churches, organizations or agencies needing a supply of applications are urged to call MYCAP office at (330) 747-7921, ext. 1128.