What You Need To Know
A federally-funded program that goes by the name of the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Administered through the Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Service (OCS), HEAP provides for low-income families. It aims to improve their lifestyle by providing them with financial aid for their home heating. This allows individuals to spend their money on other necessities of their lives without worrying about energy costs.
A one-time payment is made to the eligible individuals and it is paid directly to the vendors. This payment takes place for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) regulated utility customers. For any non-regulated utility customers, vouchers are issued. The same can be said for master-metered and other applicants who do not have a utility bill in their name. This allows the program to make life easier for a larger number of people. It is especially important in the winter heating season. It helps to protect and safeguard people from health issues as well as any safety hazards.
Amounts allocated to the qualified families differ according to their eligibility factors. Considering that HEAP is federally funded, it has limited finances to help out. Therefore, it makes sure to allocate the budget in a manner that a large number of families are assisted. It also ensures that the most deserving families are catered to in the best manner.
Are You Eligible?
There are certain requirements associated with HEAP. This includes some basic aspects including the fact that the person should be:
- A resident of the state of Ohio
- S. national, citizen or legal alien
- In need of financial assistance for heating or other home energy costs
The annual income of the person must also be either less than or equal to the following figure. It should be calculated before any taxes are deducted. It can also be said that this amount must be below 60 percent of the State Median Income.
|Size Of Household||Maximum Annual Income Level ($)|
In case the household size is greater than eight members, add $1,466 extra for each person.
HEAP requirements also take into account the household income and residential status of applicants. Automatic eligibility is granted to people who are either a part of certain benefit programs themselves or their families are. Amongst these benefit programs, there is:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP
- Supplemental Security Income – SSI
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – TANF
- Certain needs-tested Veterans benefits
A pre-screening tool is available to help people determine their eligibility. It is not the final application. Instead, it is a way for the people to realize whether they have the potential of receiving the benefits or not.
How To Apply
The application process for Ohio HEAP is said to be a simple one. An individual who believes they are eligible for its benefits can obtain and fill out an application. The form can easily be found in the nearest office available. The application is also available on the website. However, it is important to make sure that the individual goes through all guidelines and instructions related to the application. This would help them to save time as well as increase chances of acceptance.
A person can obtain the application involved in this process through:
- The toll-free number set up for Ohio HEAP
- Visitation to local community action agencies
- Local libraries
- Visitation to county Departments of Job and Family Services
- A request at the area agencies
- A request at the local utility offices.
Certain documents would need to be attached to the form. Therefore, it should be made sure that along with the application, the following is mailed as well:
- A proof for income in the past year
- A copy of the most recent utility/fuel bill
- Other documents as specified
The agencies available in your area can also help you in the application process. They can provide you with the necessary guidance and assistance that makes the whole procedure easier.
For Further Information
Ohio HEAP page has been set up to cater to the queries of people. It is easily accessible through internet browsers. A toll-free number has also been set up during business hours to provide any help required to people. It can be used five days a week from Monday to Friday:
Ohio HEAP is also mindful of those people who have disabilities. Therefore, to make sure that proper services are provided to them, a toll-free number has been set up. This is for those hearing-impaired people who have a telecommunication device for the deaf: