Audubon Area Community Services will receive about $526,000 for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program’s next phase, which begins Nov. 2.
That’s when LIHEAP’s fall subsidy component starts. It will remain in effect through Dec. 11. During the subsidy phase, no utility disconnect notice is needed to qualify.
In the past, LIHEAP typically ran from late autumn until the end of March, providing assistance with home heating costs only. However, because of the worldwide pandemic, AACS has offered LIHEAP continuously since November 2019, said Robyn Mattingly, social support services director.
LIHEAP’s summer program ends Oct. 30.
“Anybody who received benefits in the summer can reapply in November,” Mattingly said.
To be eligible, residents can’t earn more than 150% of the federal poverty level and must meet liquid asset requirements. For a one-person household, monthly income can’t exceed $1,595.
The allowed monthly income level depends on the number of people living in the home.
Due to COVID-19, applications will be taken by phone only on a first-come, first-served basis, as opposed to alphabetically by last name.
“We are encouraging everyone to go to the website if at all possible,” Mattingly said of making an appointment ahead of time.
At http://www.audubon -area.com/, clients can avoid long waits on the phone by scheduling a time for a staff member to call. Near the bottom of the website’s landing page, there is a “Request Assistance” button.
Clients can select that button and request several types of assistance, including utilities.
Because all AACS business is conducted via phone now, it can be difficult for clients to call in, Mattingly said. The agency’s website is the quickest and easiest way to speak to a member of AACS’s staff. All appointment requests are routed to the proper county office.
If clients choose not to make an appointment ahead of time, they should call the AACS office in their county from 8 a.m. to noon on weekdays. The numbers are:
Daviess County — 270-686-1662
Hancock County — 270-927-6500
Ohio County — 270-298-4481
McLean County — 270-273-3355
During the application process, residents must provide Social Security cards for everyone in the home ages 2 and older, proof of household income, photo ID and a utility notice. Documents can be sent in via text, email or fax.
A dropbox is available on request, but it is not the preferred way to provide documentation, Mattingly said.
LIHEAP’s crisis phase begins Jan. 4, 2021, and runs through March 31, or until available funds run out. In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, the client must have a utility disconnect notice or be within four days of running out of wood, coal, propane or kerosene.
Mattingly said there will be another allocation of funds for the crisis phase, but that amount will not be known until closer to the program’s January start date.
Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, firstname.lastname@example.org