Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Crisis Program helps low-income families stay connected

Program starts July 1; appointments can be made starting today by calling appointment line 1-866-504-7400

The hot summer months can be dangerous to the health of consumers who have difficulty paying higher utility bills. With an estimated one in nine Ohio residential utility customers experiencing disconnection of either their electric or natural gas service for non-payment during the past year, the need for assistance programs such as the Summer Crisis Program is more vital than ever.

The Summer Crisis Program, available from July 1 through Aug. 31, is administered annually by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD). This year, households with an annual income at or below 200 percent of the 2009 federal poverty guidelines ($44,100 for a family of four) will be eligible for assistance. Income-eligible households will receive up to $175 toward bill payment assistance. Consumers should contact their local community action agency to determine the availability of air conditioners, fans or other assistance that might be available.

In addition to the income guidelines, households must meet the following criteria to be eligible for assistance:

● Have a member who is at least 60 years of age or older; or

● Have a member under the age of 60 with health issues that are verified by documentation from a physician.

Consumers can use the following chart to determine whether their household meets the income guidelines:

Income chart for consumers at or below 200 percent of 2009 federal poverty guidelines

Size of household Total Annual Income Total household income
for past three months

1 $21,660.00 $5,415.00
2 $29,140.00 $7,285.00
3 $36,620.00 $9,155.00
4 $44,100.00 $11,025.00
5 $51,580.00 $12,895.00
6 $59,060.00 $14,765.00

For households with more than six members, add $7,480 per person for annual income; add $1,870 for three months.

Summer Crisis Program Poster

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