Undoubtedly, this has been one of the toughest times in our economy in the last 25 years, and many hardworking North Carolinians have been laid off or let go from their jobs through no fault of their own.
For these families, it can be difficult to buy groceries, pay the mortgage and keep up with all the bills and expenses of running a household (which don’t stop just because of a job loss).
To ease some of the financial burden and stress during an already stressful time, the government offers emergency assistance for heat to those in need. So even if a household is falling behind on bills, it does not have to go without heat.
In the state of North Carolina, the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) is a federally-funded program that can help with emergency assistance for heat for low income households.
While the monetary support provided by the state varies based on each household’s situation, emergency assistance for heat cannot exceed $600 (and/or the maximum allowed by the county where the household resides) in a state fiscal year (which starts in July and goes through the following June).
The State of North Carolina sets the following eligibility guidelines for CIP:
Households applying for emergency assistance for heat must have at least one U.S. citizen or a noncitizen who meets specified eligibility criteria.
Households applying for emergency assistance for heat must meet an income test. This income test will serve as a measuring tool for how much assistance a household needs.
Households applying for emergency assistance for heat must be facing a heating emergency (meaning that a household residence will be too cold for “high risk” residents, like the elderly, disabled or children under the age of 6).
Although winters in North Carolina do not tend to be extreme, there can be some low overnight temperatures, so don’t dismiss the state’s emergency assistance for heat programs.
If a household is in extreme need, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP), another federally funded program that provides emergency assistance for heat, is available to North Carolina residents.
The eligibility guidelines are the same as for the CIP, except households applying for LIEAP must have reserves (savings) at or below $2200.
Please feel free to call Ross & Witmer with any questions.