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HEAP extended to April 15

The Winter Crisis Program deadline has been extended from March 31 to April 15. The Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization (ILCAO) will continue processing assistance to eligible households that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected or have a tank with 25 percent or less of its capacity of bulk fuel.

“The state had additional funding,” Trish Johnson, special program coordinator for the Workforce Development and Resource Center, said. “When extra money is available or allocated to the program it is common to extend it.”

The ILCAO can assist with heat source cost through a one-time payment to your utility bill, wood, coal or some type of bottled gas. All required documents are needed to process applications quickly. Necessary documents include, but are not limited to, a heating bill with account number, electric bill with account number, past 90 days of income for household members 18 and older, proof from Job and Family Services, cash assistance or child support birthdates and Social Security cards for each household member.

“Keep in mind that other requirements may be asked of you,” according to a press release. “This cuts down on the time spent in the interview process and return visits.”

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) department is located in the Ohio Means Jobs–Lawrence County One Stop building at 120 North Third St. in Ironton. To schedule an appointment, call 740-532-3140 and choose Option No. 1.

All account numbers should be available for inclusion in your message.

Questions should be addressed to 740-532-3140 ext. 1219. Being 30 minutes late for an appointment will result in rescheduling and could affect a disconnect date and cause disconnection. A household may only have one appointment hold throughout the winter crisis program for metered utilities.

All applicants should arrive 15 minutes early in order to begin newly implemented procedures. There will also be emergency walk-ins beginning at 8:30 a.m. where a time slot will be given. The requirements for walk-ins are stricter than regular appointments.

HEAP is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Office of Community Assistance (OCA). The program is designed to aid eligible low-income Ohioans meet the costs of home heating. If eligible, the amount of the one-time HEAP benefit depends on federal funding, number of people in the household, total household income and the primary fuel used for heat. In most cases, the one-time benefit will be a credit applied to your energy bill by your utility company or fuel vendor.

The current Winter Crisis Program began Nov. 1, 2013.