New FAX and Email for Utility Help Availableposted 8/26/20 -- Lorain County Community Action Agency’s Summer Crisis Program continues through Sept. 30 and now offers three ways to submit required documents.
Summer Crisis offers help staying cool for low-income residents who also meet one of the other eligibility requirements. The primary qualification for the program is a gross annual income at or below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Line ($45,850 for a family of four in 2020). More people are eligible for help this year under expanded provisions created in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The HEAP department now has a dedicated FAX line. Documents can be sent to 440-201-6483. Documents can also be emailed to [email protected] Finally, the agency has enhanced the secure drop box at 936 Broadway Ave., Lorain. Here, clients will find a list of requirements, documents needed, and Agreement Terms which can be signed and left in the drop box for the advocate they are working with.
Typically, the summer program is for low-income people who are age 60 or over or who have a health issue worsened by extreme heat, said Emergency Services Coordinator Darnella Higginbotham. This year, eligibility has expanded to include those diagnosed with COVID-19 and those whose income was impacted by the many changes in the community due to the virus.
Residents at 175% of the Federal Poverty Level qualify for help if one of the following applies to them:
- They are age 60 or older.
- They have a documented medical condition worsened by extreme heat.
- Their electric service has been disconnected or they have received a disconnect notice.
- They are trying to establish new service.
- They have been diagnosed with coronavirus in 2020.
- They are enrolling in PIPP Plus for the first time.
- They are an existing PIPP customer in default.
COVID-19 has also changed the way LCCAA is conducting the program, Higginbotham said. All appointments are being done by phone with zero contact between the LCCAA advocate and the client. Appointments can be made by calling the new 24-hour number: 440-538-6999 or going online to https://app.capappointments.com/.
Benefits have also been expanded this year. Customers of regulated utilities can receive up to $500 in assistance (up from $300). Customers of unregulated utilities can receive up to $800 (up from $500).
Residents who have not received an air conditioner from LCCAA in the last three years can request a unit. In July, 72 air conditioners were distributed. The cost of the unit will be deducted from the amount of assistance they receive. The remainder can be applied to their energy bill if needed.
Electric box fans will also be distributed. Residents who have received air conditioners in the past three years may be eligible for a fan. In July, 62 fans were distributed. Customers may also request repairs to their central air conditioning units up to $500.
An electronic system is being used to minimize contact clients have when they pick up air conditioners or fans from Lowe’s in Elyria.
Higginbotham also noted that federal Coronavirus stimulus checks do NOT count as income for this program. For a complete list of countable income and documentation requirements, please click here.
The program will run through Sept. 30 this year. It typically ends Aug. 31.