Winter heating program to begin

STEUBENVILLE – The Jefferson County Community Action Council will begin assisting eligible Jefferson County residents with the Emergency H.E.A.P. program starting Nov. 1.

According to Operations Manager Eliza Kelly, appointments will be scheduled in the order the phone calls are received as of Tuesday.

Kelly said the guidelines are now at 175 percent of the poverty level. Last year the poverty guidelines were at 200 percent.

“H.E.A.P. assists income-eligible residents with their heating bills, whether its natural gas, electric, propane, bulk fuel, coal or firewood. A disconnect notice is required for electric or gas. You must have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel or propane,” said Kelly.

“Benefits for emergency assistance range up to a maximum of $175 for gas and electric and up to $750 for oil, kerosene, propane and bottled gas. Coal, wood or solid fuels are up to $350. If a delivery is made and the maximum benefit is not used, the client cannot receive a second delivery. The rules regarding Percentage of Income Payment Plan may require a customer co-payment if certain conditions were not met,” noted Kelly.

The CAC hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the CAC administrative offices at 114 N. Fourth St in Steubenville.

The H.E.A.P. applications are available at the Dillonvale City Building on Nov. 19, 21 and 26 as well as Dec. 3, 5, 10 and 12. Home visits are available for elderly and/or disabled persons unable to travel.

“Documentation to be presented with the application includes proof of income for all members of the household 18 years of age or older for the past 90 days, Social Security checks, award letters or bank statements, alimony, child support, pensions and utility allowances, Social Security cards for all household members, birth certificates, utility bills with a disconnect notice and vendor information for bulk fuel and propane,” Kelly said.

“Persons claiming zero income must provide written proof, which may include a statement from any individual who is providing financial assistance to the applicant.

A statement from the Department of Job and Family Services is needed at the time of application. Applications will not be processed without the necessary documentation,” said Kelly.

A maximum family income for four persons is $41,212.50.