Are you part of a low-income family living with an older adult or someone with physical challenges?
Then the state’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program is an option to explore. Households with adults and people with disabilities can now apply for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) “Low Income Energy Assistance Program.”
The state began accepting applications at the start of December as part of an effort to use available federal funds to provide low-income households with a one-time payment directly to the heating vendors to offset the high cost of heating their homes as the weather turns colder.
Payments will be distributed automatically to heating companies for those who meet the following requirements:
(1) Are 60 years of age or older or are a person with a disability receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services
(2) Are currently receiving Food and Nutrition Services
(3) Received a Low-Income Energy Assistance Program payment during the 2021-2022 season.
Those households meeting the requirements for the automatic payment have already been informed about their eligibility and they don’t need to re-apply this year for the help.
The households with a person 60 or older or with a disability receiving Division of Aging and Adult Services who didn’t receive notice of an automated payment can apply online at www.epass.nc.gov.
In Guilford County, applicants can also call the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services to apply by phone – or they can print out an application from www.epass.nc.gov to mail, fax or drop off at their county department of social services.
To be eligible, a household must:
- Have at least one US citizen or non-citizen who meets the eligibility requirements
- Have income equal to or less than 130 percent of the federal poverty limit
- Be responsible for their heating cost.
Starting on January 3, 2023, all other eligible households who meet the requirements may begin applying. Applications will be accepted from Jan. 3, 2023, to March 31, 2023 – or until funds are exhausted.
In 2021, the program provided about $115 million and helped more than 168,000 households pay their heating bills from December 2021 through March 2022.
NCDHHS Senior Director for Human Services Carla West stated in a press release this week that the high cost of heating these days makes the program necessary.
“We recognize the cost of heating a home this coming winter will be higher due to an increase in energy prices,” said. “Our goal is to ensure older adults and people with disabilities who may be facing a financial hardship have the funds to help with their heating expenses this year.”
For more information on the program and eligibility, those interested can visit www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/low-income-services/low-income-energy-assistance.
Hard to not support this. Of course the govt knows better than us on how to help people in need.
But, charity begins at home. It should be our choice. It makes me want to decline to support our church, as the govt has taken part of the mission away.
So the state will pay the power bills. I wonder who the state is? Oh wait, there’s somebody digging around in my pockets right now. I guess that answers that question.
I don’t have any problem being charitable and helping out those in need but let’s call it what it really is instead of just saying the state is taking care of it. It almost sounds of Roy Cooper himself is flipping the bill for this one.