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Ohio Assistance Paying Utility Bills

friendshelpingfriends started this conversation

 

Large HEAP Logo (color)


 

What is Regular  HEAP?


The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Department of Development's Office of Community Service (OCS). It is designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating. If you are eligible for assistance, the amount of your one-time HEAP benefit wilI depend on federal funding levels, how many people live with you, total household income, and the primary fuel you use to heat your home. In most cases, the one-time benefit will be a credit applied to your energy bill by your utility company (or fuel vendor).   

Eligibility Requirements:


Applications for the 2010-2011 Regular HEAP program will be accepted August 1, 2010 through May 31, 2011. The total household income of an applicant must be at or below 200 percent of the federal Fiscal Year 2010 federal poverty guidelines listed below: 

 

Size of Household Total Household Income 12 Months
1 up to $21,660.00
2 $29,140.00
3 $36,620.00
4 $44,100.00
5 $51,580.00
6 $59,060.00
7 $66,540.00
8 $74,020.00

 

**For households with more than 8 members, add $7,480 per member.

A household applying for HEAP must report total gross household income for the past 12 months for all members, except wage or salary income earned by dependent minors under 18 years old. Both homeowners and renters are eligible for assistance. 

Exceptions to the Guidelines:


Families who live in federally subsidized housing where the heat is included in the rent are not eligible for HEAP. 

Household Income:


Household income is defined as the total annual gross income before taxes (minus exclusions) of all household members, except earned income of dependent minors under 18 years of age. Head of household and spouse may never be considered minors. Gross household income includes wages, interest, dividends, annuities, and pensions. Additional sources that HEAP defines as income include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Social Security
  • Supplemental Security income (SSI)
  • Railroad Pensions
  • Retirement and/or Company Pensions
  • Veterans Pensions (not for service related disability)
  • Company Disability and Black Lung
  • Strike Benefits
  • OWF/TANF/DA
  • Alimony
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • Workers Compensation
  • Unearned income paid to or on the behalf of minors
  • Cash Gifts
  • Lump Sum Distribution (prorated when payment is designated for a set period of time)
  • Estate and Trust Settlements (excluding attorney fees)
  • Capital Gains (Example: Proceeds from sale of property, home and stock)
  • Utility Allowances (as discretionary income)
  • Immigrant Relocation Allowance
  • Adoption Assistance
  • Child Support Received
  • Garnished Wages
  • Active Military Pay
  • Social Security Disability (SSDI)
  • Veteran's Disability (VA Disability) 

Excluded Household Income:

  • Food Stamps/Cash Payment for food stamps
  • Assets from bank withdrawals
  • Tax refunds and rebates
  • Handicapped Income self-sufficiency programs (e.g., work expenses for the blind)
  • Loans from individuals or institutions requiring repayment of either principal or principal and interest
  • Funds/training stipends designated for specific purposes (i.e., educational grants for tuition and/or books)
  • Work Allowances (i.e., LEAP)
  • Transportation Allowances (i.e. Workforce Investment Act (WIA))
  • Title V Wages of the Older Americans Act
  • Foster Grandparents program
  • Medicare payments
  • Stipend for Foster Care
  • Agent Orange Compensation/Benefit
  • Vista or other Americorp Stipends
  • Health Insurance Premiums (dental, vision and health insurance, supplemental health insurance)
  • Prevention, Retention, Contingency (PRC), assistance to attempt to divert families from long-term financial dependency
  • Title III DREAP
  • Military allowances for subsistence; housing, family separation, etc.

Where Can You Obtain HEAP Applications?


The HEAP application is the same Energy Assistance Programs application referenced above. They were mailed to households that were found eligible for assistance the previous winter heating season. Applications are available at: 

  • Call HEAP toll-free at (800) 282-0880

  • Local Community Action Agencies

  • Local libraries

  • County Departments of Job and Family Services

  • Area Agencies on Aging

  • Local Utility Offices

What else is required to be mailed with your completed and signed application?

  • Proof of income for the past 12 months
  • A copy of a recent fuel/utility bill
  • Please sign your application.

Mail Completed and Signed Applications to:
HEAP
P.O. BOX 1240
COLUMBUS, Ohio 43216



For Additional Information:


Call HEAP toll-free at (800) 282-0880 during regular business hours (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Monday through Friday. For the hearing-impaired with a telecommunication device for the deaf (TTD), call toll-free number (800) 686-1557 or in Franklin County, call (614) 752-8808. The FAX number is (614) 728-6832. 

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