Report by Paula Antolini
April 7, 2017 10:42AM EDT
Gov. Malloy Reminds Connecticut Residents the Deadline to Apply for Home Heating Assistance is May 1
Those Seeking Assistance Should Call 2-1-1 or visit www.ct.gov/staywarm for Guidance
April 3, 2017 (HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today is reminding Connecticut residents who need help paying their home heating bills for the 2016-2017 winter season that there is still time to apply for assistance under the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program. The general deadline for applications is May 1, 2017, however eligible households that are subject to a shut-off notice by a utility for heating bills have an extended deadline of May 15.
Those seeking assistance under the program should call 2-1-1 or visit www.ct.gov/staywarm for guidance about the program and application sites.
“Spring may be here, but applications for home heating assistance are still available through May 1 at more than 170 sites throughout the state,” Governor Malloy said.
Home heating benefits are available for households with incomes up to 60 percent of the state median income (currently $33,881 for a single person and $65,155 for a household of four). A liquid asset eligibility check also applies. Payments are issued directly to fuel vendors and utility companies on behalf of eligible households.
The program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) through nonprofit Community Action Agencies, which coordinate application and eligibility determination statewide. Nearly 90,000 applications for energy aid have been received so far, with over 74,000 households approved for basic benefits of up to $590.
Funding comes from the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). While Connecticut is expected to receive up to $80 million for the 2016-17 winter season, President Trump has proposed eliminating the program under his 2018 budget proposal.
“The proposed gutting of vital energy assistance for low-income families, singles, older adults, and people with disabilities is one of the most disturbing parts of the President’s budget,” Governor Malloy said. “My administration will do all that we can to work with our federal delegation to ensure that this and other damaging parts of the budget proposal do not come to pass.”
“Seniors and residents throughout Connecticut depend on this funding to keep their homes and their families warm. A rollback of this funding would be unconscionable and an assault on our most vulnerable residents,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “I echo Governor Malloy and our Congressional delegation in their commitment to protecting LIHEAP and the people who depend on it.”
DSS Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby noted that federal energy funding also has economic benefits to Connecticut.
“A total of 382 deliverable fuel vendors participate in the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, and this supports revenue and stability for primarily small businesses and jobs for the hard-working people who transport and deliver heating oil, propane and other fuels,” Commissioner Bremby said. “Energy assistance is also a job supporter in the nonprofit human services sector, all while helping tens of thousands of vulnerable Connecticut residents get through the winter and make ends meet.”
Emergency funding is also available to repair or replace unsafe or inoperable heating systems for single-family, owner-occupied homes. To qualify, a household’s income cannot exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, which is currently $48,600 for a household of four. A heating system must be deemed as unsafe or inoperable by a licensed heating vendor to be considered.
Applicants can request an appointment through the Community Action Agency serving their town or city, or can apply at partnering intake sites around the state. To find the nearest application site, people should call 2-1-1 or visit www.ct.gov/staywarm.
The state’s Community Action Agencies are:
- The Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut, Inc. – Danbury area: 203-748-5422; Stamford area: 203-357-0720
- New Opportunities, Inc. – Waterbury area: 203-756-8151; Meriden area, 203-235-0278
- Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. – New Britain area, 860-356-2000; Bristol area, 860-582-7490
- Community Renewal Team, Inc. – Hartford area, 1-800-798-3805 or 860-560-5800; Middletown area, 860-347-4465
- The ACCESS Agency, Inc. – Willimantic area, 1-800-260-0400 or 860-450-7400; Danielson area, 860-412-1600
- Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. – Norwich area, 860-425-6681; New London area, 860-444-0006
- Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc. – 203-387-7700
- TEAM, Inc. – Derby/Ansonia area, 203-736-5420
- Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc. – Bridgeport area, 203, 384-6904; Norwalk area, 203-838-8110