The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), administered locally by Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP), has connected with over 5,000 County households to determine eligibility for home heating assistance already this season. In an effort to help even more households, the organization is looking to reach those who may be eligible for the heating assistance program, but have not yet applied.
HEAP, an assistance program designed to supplement costs as Mainers heat their homes, is available to those who meet eligibility guidelines, including monthly household income and is available to homeowners as well as renters. This assistance program can have a huge impact on households of all shapes and sizes across the region. Examples include a fixed income household where a single person can have a monthly income of $2,344, or a family of two can have a monthly income of $3,065 and still quality for the program. The benefit amount is based on several factors including: household size, income and home energy costs. The guidelines have increased from years past and those that have been denied before or have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply. Though it takes time to complete the process, it is important to highlight that HEAP benefits can remain on the homeowner’s account for up to 18 months. Income guidelines can be found on the ACAP website at www.acap-me.org/programs/energyhousing/.
In order to assist as many eligible households as possible this season, ACAP will hold a call in day on Wednesday, February 10 from 9 am until 4 pm. ACAP is encouraging anyone who wants to learn more about the program or needs assistance to contact the HEAP Team on February 10 by calling 207-768-3053. Intake Specialists will conduct full appointments over the phone. Callers can expect the application process to take approximately 15 minutes. Following the application interview, the application documents will be mailed directly to the applicant’s home for signing and returning to ACAP within 20 days. Once the documents are received, the certification team will review the documents and approve or deny the application based on the information provided. In an attempt to complete the application process, the team will reach out to the applicant if there are any questions or missing information.
“We know there are more households in Aroostook County that qualify for this federal program and our goal is to connect with them to provide assistance. We encourage anyone who qualifies to contact us on February 10th to complete the telephone interview,” said Erin Benson, Program Coordinator. She continued, “If you are in need of assistance and unsure if you may qualify, our team can walk you through the process.”
This special event has been created to assist those who have not applied this season and those who have questions about the program. This unique event provides the opportunity to connect with the Intake Specialist and to complete an application on the spot and over the phone. With a goal to serve more families, ACAP believes this innovative approach will allow them to meet the growing needs in the community.