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Heating assistance available in spite of federal shutdown

Heating assistance available in spite of federal shutdown

The partial government shutdown should not affect the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (EHEAP), which provides utility payment assistance for residents who need help.

The shutdown has, however, generated some inquiries about EHEAP from those who may be worried about meeting utility payments. Although Ohio does not have as great a share of federal employees when compared with other states, GLCAP has received local calls for utility assistance from those who have been affected by the shutdown.

“We have received calls from people who are definitely concerned,” GLCAP Basic Needs Specialist Joyce McCauley-Benner said. “Some have already received assistance, and others have asked if they can come in for assistance as a result of not having been paid due to the shutdown. We’ve also had calls from those who want to know how we can help if the shutdown continues.”

EHEAP provides eligible households with a one-time utility benefit paid directly to the household’s utility company. GLCAP provides EHEAP to residents of Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa and Seneca counties.

“We stress that anyone who needs help with utility payments—whether because of the shutdown or otherwise—should call and learn more about how we may be able to assist,” McCauley-Benner added.

In order to qualify, the household must be at or below the 175 percent federal poverty guidelines (e.g. up to $43,925 for a family of four). Applicants will need to schedule an in-person appointment and provide:

  • Proof of income (copies of pay stubs) for the last 30 days for all members of the household ages 18 and over
  • Clients can provide proof of income for the past 12 months if the past 30 days are not reflective of normal income (e.g. seasonal employment)
  • Due to the shutdown, self-employed and zero-income clients will not be required to provide IRS tax transcripts. Clients will be provided a form to complete in lieu of transcript requirements.
  • Copies of their most recent energy bills
  • A list of all household members with Social Security numbers and birth dates
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship/legal residency for all household members

To schedule an appointment for EHEAP, call 1-888-441-4327.  For more information, visit

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