In March, 441 households were approved for assistance from the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program compared to 367 approved in February. The program, which ended March 30, has served an estimated 2,600 households in 2012. The final tally of the number served for the 2012 heating season will be available later this month.
In March, the number served in each of the WSOS counties is as follows:
• Ottawa County — 54 households for a total of $13,950
• Wood County — 151 households for a total of $33,483
• Sandusky County — 128 households for a total of $26,206
• Seneca County — 108 households for a total of $18,337
Residents submitted applications until the end of March for assistance through EHEAP, so many of those applications are still being processed to determine their eligibility and the amount of assistance.
Each year, from November to March, EHEAP provides one-time emergency assistance to income-eligible residents to help them maintain their heating source by paying some of the heating bills. These households receive up to $450 one time to pay electric and other utilities, and up to $750 for those who use propane and have less than a 10-day supply left in the tank.
The income limits to receive assistance through this program remains at 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. This means that households with one person should earn no more than $21,780 or four-person households should have incomes of no more than $44,700.
The Summer Cooling program also helps income-eligible residents with electric bills in July and August. The income eligibility is the same. However, only those who have medically verified needs for cooling in their homes, meet the income requirements and are 60 years of age and older receive assistance.