Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program opens for some Nov. 1

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program administered by the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services will open to homebound and elderly households on Nov. 1.

Homebound households are defined as those households in which every household member is confined to the home because of medical conditions or disabilities. Elderly households are defined as those households in which every member is age 65 years or older (if anyone in the household is under age 18 and all the other household members are 65 or older that household will meet the definition of elderly).

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 send their most recent heating bill, electric bill, proof of all household income, proof of valid Social Security number, proof of citizenship with a valid picture ID and/or alien status. In addition, elderly households must provide proof of age for all household members.

All Community Service Centers are closed to the public because of COVID-19. To apply for assistance, you must call the Service Center in your county to receive instructions on how to submit your documents for your application.

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 Inc. receives the funds from the Georgia Department of Human Services. Assistance is on a "first-come, first-served" basis, while the funds last.

Any low-income residents of the county who believe their household meets the definition of homebound or elderly should contact the North Georgia Community Action Inc.'s Community Service Center for their county of residence beginning Nov. 1 at 8:30 a.m. If you are unable to get through on the phone line, please be patient and keep trying.

The homebound/elderly "priority" is through Nov. 30. You do not have to get on the list the first day. Keep calling until you reach someone. Do not leave messages as they will not be returned.

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