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Local families may qualify for heating bill assistance

A number of local families will qualify for a one-time cash payment to help pay their heating bills, according to the Rowan County Department of Social Services.
The payment comes through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program and applies to most households that qualify for Food & Nutrition Services, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
The Low Income Energy Assistance checks should be issued in February 2009.
Other families may qualify for the one-time payment if income and resources are under guidelines and the family is responsible for heating bills. Maximum income allowed for a family of four is $1,944 per month and the reserve limit is $2,200 for all households.
Under this year’s plan, the energy payments will be targeted toward all Food & Nutrition Services households whose members are active in that program as of Sept. 30, with a certification period through October 2007 or greater. These households will receive an automatic payment for heating costs if they meet all Low Income Energy Assistance guidelines. They do not need to apply but will be evaluated by the Energy Assistance Program Department at the State Division of Social Services.
Food & Nutrition households that do not automatically qualify for the one-time energy payment will receive a letter during the second week of October informing those households that they will need to apply for the energy program.
Non-Food & Nutrition Services households that include the disabled, families with young children and the elderly must come to the Department of Social Services to apply.
The Department of Social Services will accept those applications at its office at 1236 W. Innes St., Salisbury, from Nov. 3 through Nov. 14, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The only exception is Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, which is a Tuesday, when the department will be closed.
Applicants should bring with them proof of income for the month of October, Social Security cards for each household member and information about their primary heating source.
For information, call the department at 704-216-8330 and supervisors Pat Spears, 704-216-8407; Debbie Kendall, 704-216-8377; or Billie Culp, 704-216-8350.

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