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Winter crisis program to end

COLUMBUS — Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development, has announced that qualified Ohioans threatened with losing their heating services have until March 31 to apply for assistance through the 2009-2010 Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program.

“Nearly 180,000 households received benefits through last year’s Winter Crisis Program totaling approximately $47 million,” Patt-McDaniel said. “I encourage all Ohioans who are eligible for this program to apply in the next couple of weeks.”

The Winter Crisis Program, administered by the Ohio Department of Development’s Office of Community Services, provides assistance once per heating season to eligible households that have been disconnected, are being threatened with disconnection, or have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel.

Qualifying for the Winter Crisis Program is dependent on the size of the household and the total gross household income over the past three months, which must be at or below 200 percent of the 2009 – 2010 federal poverty guidelines.

To apply for assistance through the Winter Crisis Program, households must have a face-to-face interview at their local provider agency.

Qualified Ohioans may call the Department’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-282-0880, Monday through Friday for a referral to one of Ohio’s 56 local service providers.

Hearing impaired customers may dial 1-800-686-1557 for assistance. For more information about HEAP or the Winter Crisis Program visit energyhelp.ohio.gov.