Sunday, August 10, 2008

Where to Find Heating Money? Think About it NOW!

Even in the long and sweltering days of summer, people are worried about how to find money to heat their homes in the coming winter. Some are already "hooked up" in the system, but many who are newly unemployed or otherwise financially jammed up have no idea where to go.

The federal government's Department of Health and Human Services now has a site to help, the LIHeap Clearinghouse. At this site, you can get state-by-state information on local agencies where you can sign up for heating assistance. Because like most programs, the money comes from the feds, but it's distributed locally. When you click on the site, choose your state. It will then show you a phone number to make inquiries (usually toll-free), and you will also get a link for local LIHEAP administering agency contacts. Click this to find a list of agencies in the state, and contact the one that covers your city or county. It will also give some eligibility requirements, and other possible sources of assistance for heating and weather proofing. While you might not be able to apply right away (in Ohio, you generally can't apply until September), you should find out when you can file, where to file, the eligibility guidelines and the documentation you need (like pay stubs, or power bills) to prove your eligibility.

Remember: the program only lasts as long as the federal funding holds out. Find out what you have to do now!

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