Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Federal CARES Funding Expiring: What Seniors Need to Know

Eligible seniors in Central Florida now just a few days left to apply for the expanded energy bill assistance provided by the federal CARES funding.

Through September 30th, households that qualify for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP) are eligible for up to $5,000 of assistance with multiple energy bills while funds are available – a $1,500 increase from earlier this year. Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Brevard County residents over the age of 60 who reside in a household where at least one member is receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Social Security (SSI) and/or Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are also “categorically eligible” for EHEAP.

What Is Included?

Utility categories eligible for heating/cooling bill assistance include electricity, natural gas, propane, wood/coal and refillable fuels. Benefits may also be used for:

  • Pre-paying energy bills
  • Purchasing blankets, portable fans, space heaters and window air conditioners
  • Repairing existing heating/cooling unit
  • Deposits to connect or restore energy
  • Late fees and disconnect/reconnect fees
  • Charges from a now-closed account previously held by the elder resident
  • Payment to landlord when utility costs are included in rent
  • Temporary emergency shelter due to an energy-related crisis

How Do You Qualify?

  • Applicants must be age 60 or older and reside in a home located in one of the following counties: Orange, Seminole, Osceola or Brevard.
  • Energy bill does not need to be in the elder’s name, but the elder will need to provide proof of residence, such as a driver’s license or other identification.
  • Applicants age 60 or older with at least one household member who is receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Social Security (SSI) and/or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) must provide proof of additional benefits, such as an award letter, in addition to documentation of total household income.
  • The applicant must be experiencing a home energy crisis (disconnected, delinquent or past due).

How Can You Apply?

  • Orange and Osceola County residents: Call Osceola Council on Aging at (407) 846-8532.
  • Seminole County residents: Call Meals on Wheels, Etc., at (407) 333-8877.
  • Brevard County residents: Call the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation at (321) 253-4430.

EHEAP, which is 100% federally funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helps qualifying seniors pay energy bills in an emergency.

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