OACAC offers assistance to low-income families to pay summer as well as winter utility bills
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – With temperatures threatening to hit triple digits this weekend, utility bills will rise. And for low-income families and individuals who need help to make ends meet, help is available.
Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation, better known as OACAC, is a network of non-profit organizations created by the federal government in 1965 to fight poverty.
In their Springfield office, the walls lined with thank you notes from the many people they have helped remind them of the critical work being done. One of the main areas of assistance from the OACAC is the Home Energy Assistance Program for low-income people, which helps pay energy bills.
While many people are aware of the winter program, which helped approximately 12,000 households pay their heating bills last year, fewer people are aware that the OACAC also offers a summer program that runs from 1 June to September 30. So far, it has helped around 3,000 households.
Whether you are looking for help in winter or summer, the first thing you need to do is complete an Emergency Assistance Program Application which is available by calling the OACAC (417-864-3460) or online (oac.ac) and printing an application which can be faxed (417-864-3472), mailed or dropped off (215 South Barnes Ave., Springfield, Mo. 65802) once completed.
“If you have City Utilities, Liberty, Southwest, we cover ten counties, so what we will do is determine your eligibility, the money will go into your account, and each time you incur a bill, it will be deducted from that amount “, explained Tommie Trammell, director of the OACAC’s LIHEAP. “If you are in crisis, we try to stop this crisis. If you are fired, we try to bring you back.
As to whether you qualify or not?
— You must have an invoice to pay
— You must meet citizenship requirements
— You must have less than $3,000 in your accounts
— You must not earn more than the income limits, which are:
Household size Maximum monthly income
“I don’t like people putting too much money into these federal qualifications because they think they don’t qualify,” Trammell said. “But that’s why we’re here. If they pay child support, we can deduct it. If he pays an SMI (Complementary Health Insurance) or Social Security contribution, we can deduct it. So I prefer that people just apply for the program and let us do our job.
And Trammell pointed to another assistance program that might come in handy during this hot summer.
“Water is very important in the summer months, and we have another program called LIHWAP,” she said. “It’s the water aid program, so you have the right to apply for that one too. This is a separate program with a separate application, but we will be here all summer waiting to help unless our funding runs out. But right now, we’re doing well with our funding to take care of people. »
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