Low-income households with a person 60 or older or someone receiving disability benefits and services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services that need help covering the cost of heating their home this winter can apply for assistance starting Dec. 3.
The assistance is available to eligible households through the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program from Dec. 3 through Dec. 31. Beginning Jan. 2, all other low-income households may apply for assistance through March 29 or until funds are exhausted.
“This funding can help assist eligible individuals and families with their heating expenses during the winter months,” said David Locklear, Deputy Director of Economic and Family Services in the Division of Social Services. “We want to ensure families are healthy and safe during some of the most difficult times of the year.”
The federally funded program helps low-income households with a one-time payment directly to their heating vendor to offset the high cost of warming their homes during the cold weather months. Depending on the household’s primary heating source, the payment will be $200, $300 or $400.
Last year, the program provided approximately $32 million to help more than 128,000 households pay their heating bills from December 2017 through March 2018.
To be eligible, a household must:
- Have at least one U.S. citizen or non-citizen who meets eligibility criteria
- Have income equal to or less than 130 percent of the federal poverty limit, such as:
- For a household of one, an income of $15,782 or less
- For a family of four, an income of $32,630 or less
- Have resources, such as saving and checking accounts, cash on hand, at or below $2,250
- Be responsible for their heating cost
Households with Native Americans age 18 or older residing in Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson or Scotland counties applying for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program must contact the Lumbee Tribe at www.lumbeetribe.com.
Households that include an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) living in the five-county service area of Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties wishing to apply for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program must do so through the EBCI at https://ebci.com. This includes enrolled EBCI members on and off the Qualla Boundary in the five counties.
To apply, individuals should contact their county department of social services. Applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted. For more information on the program and eligibility, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/low-income-services/low-income-energy-assistance.