The Heating Energy Assistance Team is a non-profit that may be able to assist low income families in Georgia and other families that are facing a crisis. The focus is on providing financial assistance and cash grants to residents of the state that are facing a disconnection of their energy services. For over the last 30 years the non-profit has been helping Georgians in need with paying their utility and in particular heating bills.
The H.E.A.T. program and the team works with a number of companies and organizations across the state. These partners allow the agency to assist low-income and struggling households and help them with meeting their energy needs. HEAT enters into partnerships with community action agencies, concerned citizens, energy companies, churches, state government, regional corporations, and other organizations.
It is always a great idea to look and apply for help before cold weather sets in. While most of the financial aid is disbursed during the winter months, individuals can check and review application requirements year round. Not only will the HEAT organization provide cash grants to those that qualify, but they will also offer free conservation tips and measures. They also have referrals and lists of other local resources that clients can call upon when facing a hardship.
One of the main groups they work with is the Georgia Department of Human Services, DHS. They are actually the organization that distributes funds and grants through community action agencies. The funds from H.E.A.T. assist income qualified households that are facing a disconnection or experiencing a potential loss of energy. Help may also be offered for those families that are in need of getting their service restored. The amount of funding available for distribution to a client will really depend on the generosity of donors, both private and corporate.
To apply, call the community action agency that serves your county. If and when you have been approved for emergency heating bill assistance, then a check is sent to the energy provider on your behalf. Your utility company will apply those funds towards your account.
Of course in order to be qualified, households must meet income limits. They will look at total gross income and compare it to the state of Georgia's median income level. The person applying also needs to be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or qualified alien.
Applicants to the HEAT program must also have received a disconnection notice on their account or they would need financial help to restore their service. Energy bill assistance will be provided within 48 hours after an eligible household applies. If you are facing a life-threatening situation, then the funds can be paid out in even less time.
If you are facing a disconnection, in order to apply for the H.E.A.T. program dial 678-406-0212 or call a community action agency. If you live in the metropolitan Atlanta region, including Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb or nearby counties, feel free to dial the following non-profits. Atlanta Regional Commission, Aging Services at 404-463-3333. Or dial Buckhead Christian Ministry at 404-239-0038. The Society of St. Vincent DePaul Society may also have information on utility assistance. Phone 770-458-9607.
The non-profit can also direct clients to other resources. For example, many consumers need help in entering into payment plans with your utility company. HEAT may have suggestions on this process. Also, the phone numbers to call for a payment extensions are listed below.
Utility bill discounts may be offered for low-income seniors in Georgia as well. For those that are 65 years of age and older and use Atlanta Gas Light Company, dial 1-800-427-5463. For electricity consumers with Georgia Power Company, dial 1-888-660-5890. Any of these programs can be combined with resources provided by the Heating Energy Assistance Team.
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