Assistance available for those out in the cold
In conjunction with the federal American Rescue Plan Act, the Department of Health and Human Services' Low-income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP) expects to have upwards of $991,790 available for bill assistance to Yamhill County residents, a substantial jump from what was available in 2020.
More than 1,500 households are expected to avail themselves of the assistance this year, a jump from the 1,190 expected last year. According to a release from the Department of Health and Human Services, 800 households received an average one-time payment to the home's heat provider of $398 last year. The assistance can be used to pay for electricity, propane, natural gas, heating oil, firewood and pellets. The grants can also be used for emergency heating system repairs and replacement if they meet program requirements.
Pre-screening for households containing seniors and disabled folks began in the fall. In early December, according to a press release, Health and Human Services (HHS) will begin accepting requests and referrals from the general public and adding them to a referral list. On a weekly basis the department is mailing application packets to some applicants on the list and will continue until the funds are exhausted. More than 350 applications have been received to date.
Eligibility for the program is set by the federal government and is determined by recently updated income limits: $2,445 for an individual, $3,197 for a couple, $3,950 for a family of three, $4,702 for a family of four, $5,454 for a family of five, $6,207 for a family of six, $6,348 for a family of seven and $6,489 for a family of eight. Families with more than eight members are encouraged to contact Yamhill County Action Partnership for assistance.
Applicants may be referred by social service agencies or apply directly via a LIHEAP referral request by visiting the YCAP website at yamhillcap.org/energy or calling YCAP's energy assistance main line at 503-472-0457, Ext. 1480 or 1-855-216-5289, Ext. 1480.
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