More than 200,000 Bay State households will receive help paying for heating fuel this winter thanks to a federal grant of $141 million that Massachusetts received Friday.
Governor Deval Patrick said the state will get $8.2 million more this year than last year in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program money. The money, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is intended to help eligible households pay winter heating bills.
The program runs from Nov. 1 to April 30.
Eligibility for the program is based on household size and the gross annual income of every adult (18 or older) household member. The maximum income eligibility for the program is 60 percent of estimated state median income. Benefit levels vary depending on household income.
Nationwide, the funds help more than 4.6 million low-income families pay their heating bills.
In general, here's the breakdown on income levels for eligibility this year:Household Size Gross Annual Income 1 $31,271 2 $40,893 3 $50,515 4 $60,137 5 $69,759
The state received 90 percent of the funding last week and will receive the rest in January, according to a press release sent by the governor's office.
Locally, fuel assistance funds are distributed to families by North Shore Community Action Programs in Peabody. NSCAP regularly mails applications to current fuel assistance clients in August or September, but if you think you may qualify, contact the office for an appointment.
Applicants need to provide documentation of their income, household expenses and utility expenses, as well as photo ID and Social Security cards for all household members.
To make an appointment, call 978-531-0767 ext. 136, or to check on the status of an application, call 978-531-8810.
NSCAP also offers free weatherization services and appliance replacement, which can help income-eligible clients save on their utility bills.