Heating, cooling help available

Low-income families in Jackson County can stay warmer this winter and cooler next summer, thanks to funding just released by the federal government.

The amount of funding available to qualified Hoosier families through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is nearly $67.2 million, part of a nationwide release of more than $3.09 billion by the Administration for Children and Families, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.

Kendall Lambring, a community services specialist for Human Services Inc. in Seymour, said the qualifications for a family to be eligible for the program are based on several different factors.

“How much funding is received varies from family to family,” Lambring said. “It depends on household size, income, whether or not they rent, own or live in subsidized housing, just to name a few.”

This past week, application packets began going out to the elderly and disabled who have applied in the past. Packets also were distributed at the Jackson County Community Service Council meeting.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial aid to low-income families. Qualified households are given a one-time benefit so they can weatherize their homes and maintain utility services during the winter and summer seasons.

“This year is a little different,” said Sally Spurgeon of Human Services Inc. “Applications for the energy assistance program will be mailed to Clifford and processed in the Bartholomew County office.”

Applications for winter assistance are now available online and through the local agency and will be accepted through May 12, 2017. Aid is given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Those in need of assistance are encouraged to call the local agency to pick up an application packet.

The Administration for Children and Families promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities with partnerships, funding, guidance, training and technical assistance.

On the Web

hsi-indiana.com

acf.hhs.gov

in.gov/ihcda

At a glance

Types of assistance offered through the Energy Assistance Program:

Regular Assistance

A specified dollar amount applied toward the primary heating source once a household is deemed qualified. It is a one-time payment that is paid directly to the utility provider as a lump sum.

Crisis Assistance

Assist in helping a household avoid disconnection or to assist in restoring interrupted service. It is a one-time payment that is paid in one lump sum directly to the utility provider.

Homeowner’s Benefit

Benefit available to households that own their home.

Summer Cool

Benefits available to help offset the higher costs of energy associated with cooling your residence. Availability of this benefit is based on funding.

For more information

Where to apply

All offices provide on-site crisis application intake. Non-crisis mail-in applications can be obtained online or by calling your local outreach office.

For information, call Human Services Inc. at 812-522-8718