The state of Georgia Department of Human Services, with whom North Georgia Community Action Inc. contracts, has announced that the Energy Assistance Program will open to the public on Monday.

All households participating in the program must meet the income criteria; be responsible for paying the cost of energy for home heating directly to the supplier; and be U.S. citizens or aliens admitted to the U.S. for lawful, permanent residence.

Applicants must bring their most recent heating bill, electric bill, proof of household income, proof of valid Social Security Number and proof of citizenship with a valid picture identification and/or alien status.

Assistance will be in the form of a one-time payment on behalf of the eligible household to help offset the cost of heating their homes. The checks are issued directly to the home energy supplier. No checks can be issued until North Georgia Community Action receives the funds from the Department of Human Services. Assistance is on a first-come, first-served basis, while the funds last.

Any low-income residents of Whitfield County who feel that their household qualifies for heating assistance should contact the North Georgia Community Action's Community Service Center at (706) 226-7241 beginning Monday at 8:30 a.m. Murray County residents should contact the Murray County service center at (706) 695-5913.

Due to the lack of parking, appointments will be made by phone only. There is only one phone line for the service center so you may have to try calling several times before getting your call through. Be patient and continue to call until you are able to reach a worker to make an appointment. Please do not come to the service center; there is not adequate parking.

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