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Utility program assistance open for local low income families

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By Sabrina Bates
MVP Regional News Editor
[email protected]

Tennesseans can see some relief from energy bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which opened for applications Oct. 1. Eligible applicants can see relief from a summer energy bill and a home-heating bill or emergency utility assistance during cooler months. Those who qualify can use assistance from two of the three programs.
LIHEAP is a federally-funded grant program for those who are low-income, elderly and disabled.
It is available to qualified applicants in all 95 counties in Tennessee through a network of 20 agencies across the state. To qualify, applicants must meet yearly-income guidelines.
A single-person household must have an annual income of less than $20,385. Two-person households must have an income below $27,465. The income cutoff for a three-person household is $34,545. A four-person household must have an annual income of less than $41,625. All income requirements are calculated before taxes. For households with more than eight people, add $7,080 per person.
Summer assistance for qualified applicants includes a maximum payment of $325 directly to a utility company. Heating assistance includes a maximum payment of $250 to a utility provider.
Applicants who receive assistance from SNAP, SSI or TANF automatically qualify for LIHEAP.
Lake County residents who want to apply for LIHEAP need to contact Lalania Hilliard with the Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council at 731-364-3228.

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