FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- For Fairfield County residents who need help paying their winter heating bills, there is still time to apply for federal energy assistance benefits, Gov. Dannel Malloy's office announced.
“Applications for winter heating assistance remain available at more than 130 sites throughout the state,” Malloy said. “Even with reductions from sequestration in Washington, we anticipate having enough energy assistance funding available to serve all Connecticut families and individuals who are eligible for the program.”
The deadline for applying is May 1, although households that use oil, kerosene or propane are encouraged to apply by March 15 to get full benefits, if eligible.
Nearly 100,000 applications have been received so far, with more than 82,000 households approved for basic benefits of up to $575. The state’s energy assistance plan anticipated that about 118,000 households will receive home-heating aid, compared with 100,000 served last winter. About $84 million in federal energy funding is expected to cover the cost for Connecticut.
This year’s aid is distributed through the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program for low-income families and individuals and the Contingency Heating Assistance Program for households with higher incomes.
Basic benefits for CEAP range from $350 to $575 for homeowners and renters whose heat is not included in the rent; and up to $120 for tenants whose heat is included. Also, CEAP-eligible households using deliverable fuels such as heating oil, kerosene and propane may be eligible for a one-time crisis assistance benefit of up to $400. The CHAP basic benefit is $300, with $100 in crisis benefits for households using deliverable fuels.
Eligibility is based on household size, income and liquid assets. CEAP helps households with a maximum income up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, or $34,575 for a family of four. Households with a member age 60 and older, under the age of 6, or with a disability, the maximum income is up to 200 percent of federal poverty level, or $46,100 for a family of four.
CHAP helps households with a maximum income up to 60 percent of the state median income of $61,184 for a family of four.
The energy assistance program is coordinated through regional Community Action Agencies. Applicants can sign up at an agency or call the 2-1-1 Infoline for the location of the nearest local application site.
The state’s Community Action Agencies include:
- Community Action Committee of Danbury Inc. at 203-748-5422.
- Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now Inc. in the Norwalk area at 203-663-7347 in the Stamford area at 203-352-4846.
More information on eligibility requirements and benefits can be found at this website.