Low-Income Energy Assistance Still Available for Families Impacted by Cold Weather


North Carolinians struggling to pay heating costs have until March 29 to apply for help. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program has $11 million in funding available to cover up to $400 for heating assistance per family. 

With $11 million in funding still available, eligible households can still apply for and, if approved, receive a one-time payment to their heating vendor to help offset the cost of heating their home. Depending on the household’s primary heating source, the federally funded program will submit a payment in the amount of $200, $300 or $400.

“With the fluctuation of temperatures experienced over the past few months, some families may be under a lot of strain paying their heating bill,” said David Locklear, Deputy Director of Economic and Family Services in the NC Division of Social Services. “We want to ensure that families are healthy and safe and have access to services that will assist them during difficult times.”

Last year, the program provided approximately $32 million to help 128,160 households pay 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:  
        o    For a household of one, an income of $15,782 or less 
        o    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 aged 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 http://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. 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 https://www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/low-income-services/low-income-energy-assistance

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