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LIHEAP signups Jan. 6

Low-income families may qualify for financial assistance in paying utility bills.

The Alabama Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists low-income Alabama residents with the high cost of home energy, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The department provides a block grant based on household size and income.

Residents can apply for assistance on two specified days each year. The first sign-up day will occur Jan. 6. The next one will be summer, 2015.

To sign up for the LIHEAP Heating program, Crenshaw County residents will need to call the Organized Community Action Program at 334-335-3910 on Jan. 6, starting at 8 a.m., and make an appointment to come in person. Appointments are made on a first come, first served basis until all appointments are issued. Only one appointment per phone call will be given. No walk-ins will be taken.

In order to qualify for the program, an individual can make no more than $17,505 a year. For each person in a household, add an additional $6,090 to the maximum income. For instance, households of two must make $23,595 or less and households of three can earn no more than $29,685 annually.

The amount of assistance offered is also based on the type of heat a household uses.

“It’s based on whether your heating is wood, gas, coal or electricity,” said OCAP Coordinator Joann Joyner. “It’s issued in the form of a voucher that OCAP sends to the utility company.”

A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or certain needs-tested Veterans benefits may be automatically eligible.

For more information, call 334-335-3910.