As the colder winter months approach, a state agency is looking for families in need of energy assistance.
The Georgia Department of Human Resources recently received a $17.9 million federal grant and a $2.8 million state grant to fund its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
"This nice weather is not going to last," said Joyce Hull, director of the DHR energy assistance program. "We want to reach people before they get into an emergency state."
Money from the program already is being used to help elderly Georgians and the disabled. On Dec. 1, all other eligible families can apply for the program.
Last year, the program helped nearly 91,000 households with their energy bills, Hull said. To participate in the program, families must meet a yearly income equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. For a one-person home, that would be $13,470 or less. For each additional member of the household, another $4,710 is added to the annual figure to meet the poverty requirements.
Qualifying applicants will receive payments of either $174 or $220 that will be paid directly to the home energy supplier.
Help is offered on a first-come, first-served basis or until the funds are used up.
"It doesn't address as many people as need the service," Hull said. "Each year we exhaust all the funds before the program ends."
For more information or to apply, call the Division of Family and Children Services, Community Services Section at (800) 869-1150.
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