Department of Human Services provides home heating bill help

ATLANTA — Georgia’s Department of Human Services is kicking off its heating cost assistance program this month.

Spokeswoman Erica Williams said needy residents 65 and older or who are homebound, can apply for assistance through the department’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. All other eligible families may apply for assistance beginning Dec. 1.

The federally-funded program assists low-income, elderly and disabled Georgians with heating bills through direct payments to home energy suppliers, she said. Funds are administered through local community action agencies on a first-come, first-served basis through April 30, 2014 or until all funds are exhausted.

Williams said depending on income and household size, those who qualify for the program will receive between $310 and $350 toward their home heating bills.

To qualify, a family’s annual income must be less than or equal to 60 percent of the median income for a Georgia family. For a household of one, the income threshold is $21,029. She said the income threshold for a household of five is $46,912.

Residents in Fayette, Clayton and Henry counties seeking assistance are asked to contact the Clayton County Community Services Agency Inc., 1000 Main St. in Forest Park. Mail to P. O. Box 1808, Forest Park, Ga. 30298-1808, call 404-363-0575 or visit www.claytoncountycsa.org

Williams said all applicants will be asked to provide their most recent heating bill or statement of service from their heating providers, as well as the following information on every member of their household: social security numbers, proof of citizenship and proof of income for the last 30 days. Proof of income can include, but is not limited to, a paycheck stub, a letter granting public assistance, Social Security or unemployment benefits.

Information is also available through the department’s division of family and children services at 877-423-4746.