The energy assistance program in Ohio that helps pay heating bills is called Heat and Energy Assistance Program (H.E.A.P.) .
H.E.A.P. pays a one-time payment a year for families or peoplewho qualify. Those payments go to the family’s utility company or fuel vendor. The household income must be at least 200% below federal poverty guidelines. People who meet the qualifications of this program can visit their local H.E.A.P. office. They can also find out more about this program by visiting H.E.A.P. online.
When visiting the H.E.A.P. office to apply for help, people should bring the following items with them: their gas and electric bill or heating fuel bill, proof of all household income for the last 12 months, proof of address such as mail, and identification – such as driver’s license or state picture identification. Once a person is at their H.E.A.P. office, they will fill out the application, and talk with a case worker. The case worker will keep the filled out application and make copies of the required paper work that was brought in by the applicant.
Then, the gas and electric company or fuel vendor will be notified by H.E.A.P., informing them that the person has applied for assistance for the bill to be paid, and the energy company leaves the gas and/or electric bill on, or the fuel vendor delivers fuel to the family’s house.
If the family’s gas and/or electric was already turned off, and they qualify for H.E.A.P., they bring in their required paper work, and fill out the H.E.A.P. application, and talk with a case worker. The Heat and Energy Assistance Program will pay for their gas and/or electric bill, and the energy company turns the gas and/or electric back on.
There are always long lines of people waiting to be seen at the H.E.A.P. offices, and to fill out an application for help with their energy bill or fuel vendor. Sometimes, the lines are so long that not everyone who showed up that day will get seen by a case worker. People come early in the morning around 5 AM or earlier to get into the H.E.A.P. offices. Even though some of the offices don’t open until 8 AM, the lines begin forming early.
The only acception to this standing in line – is if you are elderly or have a required disability. If you meet these requirements, then someone admits you on into the H.E.A.P. office. You can also contact H.E.A.P. at (800) 282-0880, if you are very ill or physically unable to make it into the H.E.A.P. office.
If a family met the H.E.A.P guidelines for heating assistance the year before, H.E.A.P mails out applications the following year to those families. If the family still meets those guidelines, the family just fills out the H.E.A.P. application and signs it, mails along with the application – proof of household income for the last 12 months, and a copy of a recent fuel/energy bill. H.E.A.P. takes care of the rest to help the family keep their heating source on. H.E.A.P. helps families once a year who meet the necessary qualifications.
The number to call H.E.A.P. in Ohio for heating bill payment assistance is (800) 282-0880.
People living in other states who need help paying their heating source, should find out if there is a H.E.A.P. in their state.