Energy assistance offered to families

Published 9:31 pm Wednesday, March 21, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Escambia County residents experienced some cold winter days this past season, which could have some looking at their heating bill and questioning why they flipped the switch to "heat."
The Community Action Agency is still accepting Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) applications from residents who meet certain restrictions to assist with the high cost of their heating bills. The applications will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis if the household was not given assistance from October 2006 until now.
The Community Action Agency's Escambia County coordinator, Kathy Madden, explained some specifics on receiving assistance.
"Anybody within the income guidelines is available to come in and apply for assistance," Madden said.
The guidelines are that the monthly income for one person cannot be in excess of $1,225; two people, $1,650; three people, $2,075 and four people, $2,500. Eligibility is determined by adding $425 per month for each additional household member.
The LIHEAP organization helps those who cannot afford to pay their energy bills in order to keep homes safe and to keep individuals from getting sick from the cold or heat.
Community Action Agency is a national organization that provides strength, promotion, representation and service to member agencies that ensure the issues of the financially unstable are both heard and addressed.
According to Madden, appointments to discuss assistance can be made in the Brewton Community Action Agency office on Pea Ridge Road.
"People who need help can call the Brewton office," Madden said. "Appointments can be made out of the office. At the time the appointment is made, we will tell them what information is needed for the appointment."
The information individuals need to bring with them to their appointments at the Community Action Agency are:
Social security number for each member in the household.
Date of birth for each member in the household.
Proof of income for the previous month for each member in the household. Any household member that is at least 21 years of age who has no income should acquire a written statement from an individual not within the same household confirming they did not work within the previous month.
The energy bill.
Proof of utility allowance or check amount if living in Section 8 housing or public housing.
After reviewing the information, a Community Action Agency representative will inform the person in need whether or not they qualify for assistance.
For more information, please call 251-867-4759.

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