Seniors can begin applying for heating aid today

People older than 65 can start applying for federally funded energy-assistance grants starting today.

 

The $350 grants help with home heating costs for the winter and are paid directly to energy providers by local agencies.

This year more money is available because of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, or federal stimulus. The CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority Inc. has about $4.1 million to distribute, about a 65 percent spike in funding, said Patricia Johnson, the energy coordinator for the organization. That amount will serve about 11,000 people in the 13-county region.

The energy-assistance program will open to the general public Dec. 1 with any leftover funds. Ms. Johnson said she expects some money to be available then but could not predict how long it would last. "This assists people especially during the hard economic times," she said. "This is one less bill they have to focus on temporarily."

To qualify for assistance, people must meet the following requirements:

- Be responsible for paying the energy costs for their home's primary heating source.

- Be a U.S. citizen or legally admitted alien.

- Have an income at or below 160 percent of the poverty level for Georgia.

- Have copies of Social Security cards for every person in the household.

- Have proof of income for everyone in the household older than 18.

- Have the most recent heating bill.

- Have picture identification and document showing proof of age.

Reach Erin Zureick at (706) 823-3217 or erin.zureick@augustachronicle.com.

ENERGY ASSISTANCE

INCOME QUALIFICATIONS:

One person $21,458

Two people $28,061

Three people $34,663

Four people $41,266

Five people $47,868

Six people $54,471

Seven people $55,709

Eight people $56,947

TO APPLY:

Columbia County: Carrie J. Mays, 11th Avenue, today through Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Richmond County: May Park, 622 Fourth St., today through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Bernie Ward Center, 1941 Lumpkin Road, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Carrie J. Mays Recreation Center, 11th Avenue, today through Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Burke County: Burke Senior Center, 717 W. Sixth St., Waynesboro, starting today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until funds run out

McDuffie County: McDuffie Senior Center, 304 Greenway St., Thomson, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays until funds run out; Human Development Center, 810 Whiteoak Road, Thomson, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting today until funds run out

Jenkins County: Jenkins County Community House, Cleveland Avenue in Millen, on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lincoln County: Lincolnton Clubhouse, 255 N. Washington St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday only; Lincoln Senior Center, 160 May Ave., Lincolnton, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 only

To find a location in South Carolina, contact the Aiken/Barnwell Community Action Commission Inc., which also oversees energy assistance applications, at (803) 641-7331.