DHR Opens the Energy Assistance Program to Help Georgians with Their Home Heating Bills

ATLANTA (GA) - As the colder winter months approach, the State of Georgia’s Department of Human Resources (DHR) is once again preparing to help those in need with the cost of heating. DHR’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has received federal funds in the amount of $18,928,210.00 million dollars to assist low-income, elderly and disabled Georgians with their heating bills. Local community action agencies will administer all available funds under state contracts starting November 1, 2004.

Beginning November 1, 2004, the homebound and the elderly (65+) may apply for help. All other eligible families may apply starting December 1, 2004. Payments will be made directly to the home energy supplier, in most cases, for gas, electricity, propane gas, wood, coal or kerosene. Qualifying applicants will receive payments of either $174 or $220.

To participate in the program, the family must meet a yearly income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. For a one-person household, that would be $13,965; for two people $18,735; for three people $23,505; for four people $28,275; for five people 33,045; for six people $37,815; for seven people $42,585; for eight people $47,355, for each additional person add $4,777 annual income.

To qualify, applicants must bring their most recent fuel bill or statement of service from their heating provider. They also must have proof of income for all household members for the last thirty days. This may be a paycheck stub, a letter granting public assistance, Social Security or unemployment benefits. Applicants must also have the social security numbers of all household members.

Help will be offered on a first-come first serve basis. The program will close April 30, 2005 or when funds are exhausted.

Anyone interested should contact DHR, Division of Family and Children Services, Community Based Programs toll free at 1-877-423-4746.