If you or someone you know needs energy assistance for the upcoming winter season, be sure to get in line early.
The North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) expects a record number of applicants for its winter utility assistance program. Applications for qualifying senior citizens and disabled people will be accepted beginning Monday, while applications from families and others will begin November 1.
While Ralls County Coordinator Wendy Ellison says NECAC expects to get the same amount of funding as last year, the summer will greatly impact how quick funding will go. And because of because of high unemployment numbers and a poor economy, despite a mild winter, the funds aren't expected to last.
"There's no real big change. Our funds do run out before we are able to help everybody who do need the assistance, so even with a warmer winter, we will still go through all of our funds fairly quickly," said Ralls County Coordinator Wendy Ellison.
Ellison said you can only apply once for energy assistance. Eligibility for energy assistance is based upon income, the number of people per household and the type of heating source. Applications will be accepted by mail and in person from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at NECAC Service Centers in each county.
People who receive a utility shut-off notice also may qualify for assistance. For information, call your county's NECAC office.
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