For those seeking help with winter utility bills, online applications are available at indyeap.org;
in-person appointments can be made beginning Oct. 23 by calling 2-1-1
INDIANAPOLIS – The federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), currently available to Marion County residents through Indy EAP, is expanding to Hendricks County this year.
Qualified Hendricks County residents seeking assistance with home energy bills this winter can visit www.indyeap.org, download the application and submit by mail. In-person appointments can be made by calling 2-1-1 beginning Oct. 23 for Hendricks County. Appointments begin in early November. Residents can also request a mail-in application packet by calling 2-1-1 after October 23.
LIHEAP provides assistance to those at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a four-person household making less than $36,900 or an individual with an income less than $18,096 would meet the income criteria. Benefit amounts are based on household size and income, type of dwelling, housing status, at-risk factors and the fuel source. Applicants must provide household, income, housing and utility verification. It is a one-time benefit and is paid directly to the utility provider.
In 2016, the number one 2-1-1 request was for utility assistance. Last year, Indy EAP provided 18,661 low-income households in Marion County with utility assistance, providing nearly $10 million in relief to residents struggling to pay home energy bills.
“Oftentimes, our neighbors who are struggling to be financially stable are forced to make critical decisions of whether to pay for food, transportation or a warm house during the freezing winter months. In those situations, the necessity of food and gas for cars often wins,” said Mary Jones, Director of Basic Needs at United Way of Central Indiana. “We urge any qualified Marion or Hendricks County resident to apply now and take advantage of this important benefit.”
For details about income eligibility and documents required for the application, call 2-1-1 or visit indyeap.org.
About Indy EAP
Indy EAP is a consortium of local providers in Marion County and Hendricks County and includes the following partners: United Way of Central Indiana, Connect2Help 2-1-1 and John H. Boner Center.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal social services program first established in 1981 and funded annually through Congressional appropriations. The mission of LIHEAP is to assist low income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs. The program, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is funded by grants appropriated from the federal government.
About Connect2 Help 2-1-1
In addition to LIHEAP assistance, Connect2Help211’s mission is to facilitate connections between people who need human services and those who provide them. Through the easy-to-remember 2-1-1 dialing code, Connect2Help211 serves solely to promote self-sufficiency, change lives and, as a result, improve the quality of life in our communities. Last year, Connect2Help211 helped more than 300,000 callers, emailers and visitors to our website to obtain basic needs (food, shelter, heat, etc.), legal assistance, or find help in fleeing domestic violence.