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Funding Available to Help with Energy Bills

Eligible, low-income households needing help cooling their home during the hot summer months or warming their home when the weather turns cold have access to financial help through the state Department of Health and Human Services’ Crisis Intervention Program.

“We know many families are currently facing additional financial hardships due to COVID-19, and this program is designed to bring aid to those in crisis to alleviate cooling or heating emergencies,” said David Locklear, Deputy Director of Economic and Family Services in the Division of Social Services, in a statement. “North Carolina is moving into its hottest months of the year, and we hope those eligible will take advantage of this program to help keep their families safe and healthy.”

A household must have at least one person who meets certain criteria, including being income eligible, and have a heating or cooling related emergency. Full eligibility details are available online at www.ncdhhs.gov/crisis-intervention-program.

Each household is evaluated by county departments of social services staff to determine if there is a heating or cooling crisis. Benefits may vary, depending on the amount needed to alleviate the crisis. Funds will be available through June 30, 2021.

The Energy Programs Application form is available online for applicants to print and mail, fax, scan or drop off at a their DSS office after completion or an applicant can contact their county departments of social services.

The Crisis Intervention Program is federally funded by the Administration for Children and Families. The funds are distributed through county departments of social services directly to the vendor or utility company, according to the state. During state fiscal year 2019-20, county departments of social services helped 137,850 North Carolina households experiencing a crisis by assisting with utility bills or securing fuel or cooling resources, according to the state.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.