Program offers eligible Ohioans help to cool their homes this summer

(WTVG) - If you're struggling to make ends meet and are worried about keeping your home cool or your power running this summer to keep a family member healthy, a program through the Ohio Development Services Agency and Pathway, Inc. could offer some relief. The Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis program is currently accepting applications from income-elligible residents, and this year they've extended the program due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

The program runs from July 1 to September 30, 2020 and helps eligible Ohioans pay an electric bill, purchase an air conditioning unit or fan, or pay for central air conditioning repairs. Eligible households can receive up to $500 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $800 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities.

The program is designed for low-income households with an older household member who is at least 60 years of age, or a household with a member who requires cooling assistance to maintain their health. Documentation of such a medical condition, including lung disease, COPD, and asthma will be required.

For 2020, the program also includes household members who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have a disconnect notices, have had their power shut off, or are trying to established new service.

Applicants must have a gross income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four, the annual income must be at or below $45,850.00.

To apply for the program, visit energyhelp.ohio.gov to start. Appointments for applicants will be held over the phone and interested applicants can call 567-803-0010.

Applicants must provide the following materials:

• Proof of U.S. citizenship/legal residency for all household members
• A copy of the applicant’s social security card and numbers for everyone in the household regardless of age
• Valid, government-issued photo identification (i.e., a driver license)
• Proof of total income for the last 30 days for everyone 18 years of age and older. Self-Employed households must provide 12 months of income documentation (e.g., ledger, prior year tax transcript).
• Seasonal income households must provide 12 months of income documentation.
• If the household states zero income or falls below 30 % of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), tax transcripts and verification of non-filling of returns for all 18 years of age and order are required.
• If the household states zero income or falls below 30 % of the FPG; Social Security printout(s) child support printouts(s) ODJFS food and cash printout(s) for everyone in the household.
• Letter of support if required.
• Current utility bills for gas and electric regardless of account status
• Documentation of co-payment if required
• Proof of disability
• A copy of the applicant’s lease is required, if the utility services are off or being transferred to another address.

For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program locally and what is needed to apply, contact Pathway, Inc. at 419-242-7304. Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling (800) 282-0880.