Eblen Charities expands heating assistance

Press release from Eblen Charities:

This Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2019 will give a great many families a warm start to the New Year as those who are seeking heating assistance through these upcoming cold winter months will once again be receiving additional help thanks to our continuing partnership between Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services and the Eblen Energy Project of Eblen Charities. 

Last December, Eblen Charities once again begin administering the Federal Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) for Buncombe County. LIEAP is a Federally-funded program providing a one-time payment to help eligible households pay heating bills.  

Initially, households containing a member who is 60 years old or older or having anyone who is disabled and receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services and are at least 130% of the poverty level were eligible to receive benefits through the month of December. 

Beginning Wednesday Jan. 2, the LIEAP program opens to all Buncombe County residents who are at least 130% of the poverty level, and persons can receive benefits through March 31 or as long as the funds last.

Even families that may have received assistance through other heating and utility assistance programs may be eligible for the LIEAP funds, giving these hard-working and deserving families a little extra breathing room as the cold winter arrives. The Low Income Energy Assistance Program funds assist households that are vulnerable due to heating costs by providing a one-time payment to help eligible households pay their heating bills.  

In partnership with Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services the Low Income Energy Assistance Program is open to all households at 130% of poverty level (example: single member household $1,315, family of two $1,783, family of four $2,719) and provides a one-time vendor payment of $200, $300, or $400 based on household size and income for homes that use electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, or kerosene. Families using wood or coal will be eligible to receive $200 regardless of family size. 

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to again partner with Buncombe County and the Department of Social Services with LIEAP and help provide additional assistance to help our families keep warm this winter,” says Bill Murdock, Executive Director of the Eblen Charities. “We have a great responsibility in the mildest of winters as we do in the harshest ones to find ways to reach out and keep those who are most susceptible to the cold keep their families and themselves warm.”

How to Apply: 

Individuals and families are encouraged to apply at the Eblen Charities Waddell Client Service Center at 50 Westgate Parkway in the Westgate Shopping Center anytime from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Individuals interested in applying for LIEAP are not required to have a Photo ID or Social Security Card.  As part of the application process we will need to verify any employment and have a valid social security number, when available for each household member. If unable to apply in person, phone applications may be taken by calling 828-255-3066. The completed application will be mailed for signature along with instructions regarding other documents needed to process application. 

Our gratitude also to all who have joined us in reaching out to keep our families warm through our heating programs. Individuals, families, and companies have been tremendously generous in sending donations ranging from a few dollars to a thousand or more to help families who find themselves in times of need keep warm. If you would like to join us in helping the families we serve keep warm contact Bill Murdock at the Eblen Charities at 828-242-2848 or via email at wmurdock@eblencharities.org.

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