HEAP Summer Crisis Program Starts July 1
Beginning July 1, the Ohio Development Services Agency and Community Action Council of Portage County (CAC) will help income-eligible Ohioans maintain their utility service through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program. The program helps eligible Ohioans pay an electric bill, purchase an air conditioning unit or fan, or pay for central air conditioning repairs. This year, the program will run from July 1 until September 30, 2020.
“This year, we’ve extended the length of the program and expanded eligibility requirements so we can help more Ohioans during this health crisis,” Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency said. “We’re working with Community Action Council of Portage County every day to help Ohioans in need.”
In 2019 more than 200 families in Portage County were assisted through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program.
The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with an older household member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member's health. Examples of conditions can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, asthma, etc. This year, households that were diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020, have a disconnect notice, have been shut off, or are trying to establish new service on their electric bill are also eligible for assistance.
Ohioans can visit energyhelp.ohio.gov to start their application prior to their required appointment. This year appointments can be held over the phone or in person at CAC of Portage County. To schedule an appointment call, 234-703-4303 or online at https://app.capappointments.com.
Eligible households can receive up to $500 if they are a customer of a regulated utility. The assistance is applied to their utility bill, or to purchase an air conditioning unit or fan, or pay for central air conditioning repairs. Ohioans 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.
Also new this year, Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP) who meet the above criteria may be eligible for assistance towards their default PIPP payment, first PIPP payment, central air conditioning repairs, or may receive an air conditioning unit and/or fan.
For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program locally and what is needed to apply, call us at 330-297-1456 press 1 then 1. Additional information can also be found at www.cacportage.net , www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling (800) 282-0880.
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) administered locally by the Community Action Council of Portage County (CAC), is an annual program that provides a direct credit to an eligible household’s heating bill. It is designed to assist low income households meet the rising costs of home heating. HEAP is not an emergency program and is not designed to help with disconnect notices. Applications for Regular HEAP, are still being accepted for the 2019-2020 program year through June 1st. The 2020-2021 program year will start on July 1st.
Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus(PIPP+) also administered locally by CAC is designed to help eligible households manage their energy bills. Households can continue to enroll in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP+) year round.
CAC also cautions current Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP+) customers to pay close attention to utility bill messages. Those messages let you know when you must re-verify for the PIPP+ program. You must re-verify every 12 months, or when the household income changes in any way, to prevent being removed from the PIPP+ program. If your utility bill is removed from PIPP, it is sometimes very difficult to get re-enrolled. It is also imperative that PIPP+ customers are paying the PIPP amount in full and on time each month in order to avoid PIPP default.
To apply for HEAP and/or PIPP+, residents can schedule a phone appointment by calling 1-800-298-4307 or go online to www.capappointments.com . You can also apply online at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov. Each household is required to provide 30 days (in some situations 12 months) proof of income for anyone in the home who is 18 years of age or older, proof of citizenship status for all household members, current utility bills, all household member’s social security numbers, proof of disability if applicable, and meet income guidelines. Customers may be asked to provide additional documentation based on individual situations.
Customers can call CAC at 330-297-1456 Monday through Thursday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, and choose option 1 to speak to someone. CAC is located at 1036 West Main Street in Ravenna.
COMMUNITY ACTION COUNCIL OF PORTAGE COUNTY OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE You can still apply for heating assistance.
The Community Action Council of Portage County (CAC) cares about the health and wellness of our clients, staff and the community. To ensure that we are taking the necessary precautions regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have changed the procedures normally used to process HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program), PIPP (Percentage of Income Payment Plan) and WCP (Winter Crisis Program) applications for assistance. Local regulated utilities (Dominion and Ohio Edison) have indicated that they will not be disconnecting customers until further notice. However, you are strongly encouraged to continue to apply for assistance to participate in our programs since that policy could change at any time. We will provide bulk fuel customers with assistance as well under the policies described below.
If you have a scheduled appointment, an Intake Specialist will call you on the date and time of your appointment using the phone number you provided to begin the application process. To schedule an appointment call 877-298-4307 or online at www.capappointments.com
If you do not have an appointment, call on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 am at 330.297.1456, ext. 0. Your contact information will be taken, and an Intake Specialist will call you back to complete a telephone interview.
This adjustment to policy does not change the federal requirement for collection of all required documentation. Applications will only be considered complete when all required documentation has been provided. If we require you to submit documentation, you may mail it to CAC, e-mail it (firstname.lastname@example.org or to a specific intake worker e-mail address), or drop it off at our HEAP offices at 1036 West Main, Ravenna, OH in the drop box provided located on the west side of the building. Envelopes will be available.
Any household that has a disconnection notice or less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel, meets income guidelines, and has not received Emergency HEAP since November 1, 2019 may be eligible for emergency utility assistance. Applicants will need to provide utility bills, proof of income, and proof of citizenship. Other documentation may be required based on each household’s individual circumstances.
As of now, the HEAP Winter Crisis Program will end on March 31, 2020.
The Community Action Council of Portage County wants to remind residents that the Winter Crisis Program and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus can help manage energy costs during these cold winter days.
The Winter Crisis Program, a component of the Home Energy Assistance Program, provides assistance to eligible households that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected or have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel. The gross income of eligible households must be at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines. For a family of four the 30 days income must be at or below $3,775.21 or 45,062.50 annually. Individuals interested in receiving Winter Crisis Assistance must have a face-to-face interview. To schedule an appointment you can call CAC’s automated appointment system at 877-298-4307, or go online to www.capappointment.com. This system will walk you through making an appointment. You MUST accept your appointment date and time, and get a confirmation number for the appointment making process to be completed. You must bring the confirmation number to your appointment.
CAC also offers walk-ins for those who are unable to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are seen on a first come first serve basis. Walk-ins at our Ravenna office are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. The doors open at 8:00am, and we see the first 24 clients. We also have walk-ins (Walk-in sites see the first 7 households) at the following satellite centers throughout Portage County:
To learn more about the programs call CAC at 330-297-1456 and press 0 for the receptionist. Customers must be income eligible, and provide all necessary documentation to be approved for assistance.
The Winter Crisis Program ends March 31st, 2020.