Tuscarawas County households that have a member who is 60 years of age or older, or someone who is sick, may be able to receive cooling bill assistance from the HARCATUS Tri-County Summer Cooling Assistance Program. It is paid for by the federal government and state of Ohio, and was created to assist low income households that have a senior citizen or someone with a medical condition. Those families are most at risk from extreme summer heat, and it is imperative they have some type of fan, air conditioner, and/or electricity to try to keep themselves cool.
Income eligibility is also based on 200 percent Federal Government Poverty Guidelines. This means that the total income range of an applicant will start at around the low $20,000 range, and it increases if there is more than one person in the household.
Proof of your hardship or income is required too. All applicants for financial assistance will be required to provide proof of United States Citizenship or Alien Status as well as accurate and complete documentation of total gross household income for either the three months or 12 months prior to the date of application. Other documentation that is required to be provided during the application process is proof of how the home is heated or kept cool, Social Security numbers, birth dates, drivers license (if have them) and the most recent electric bill must be supplied as well.
If there is a household members who is 18 years of age or older who does not have an income, then this individual will need to provide something in writing that explains their situation and why they do not have an income and why they are not working. Written verification must be submitted by a doctor or medical professional for anyone living in the household who is claiming total or permanent disability, or if they claim to have an illness that is aggravated by extreme heat. HARCATUS Family Support Center personnel have copies available of a standard form for physician verification of the qualifying illness that can be completed by your doctor.
The applicant needs to bring all the proof when they apply. Staff members from the center are not permitted to access information or make telephone calls on the applicant’s behalf. They are not allowed to review old agency paper files to verify income or other household information.
A disconnect notice is not required in order to get help from this service. HARCATUS Family Support Centers will take phone calls and schedule an appointment. All aid is normally distributed by August 31, so apply early. While funding may vary from year to year, the Summer Cooling Program may assist those in need with providing them a one payment on an electric bill, and the total amount offered is generally up to $175.
Even if after applying you are found to not be eligible, or if you do not meet the qualifications above, then case managers from HARCATUS Family Support Center will provide advice and counseling on other payment plan options. This can include direct assistance from your power company, weatherization, or LIHEAP. Some local charities and non-profits like the Salvation Army in Tuscarawas County may also distribute free fans. This referral service is offered even if the applicant does not qualify for a Summer Cooling bill benefit.
To apply for help, or for more information, contact one of the HARCATUS Family Support Center offices. They are located in Tuscarawas County and neighboring areas, including at 122 S. Main St., Cadiz, 740-942-8886; 140 W. High Ave., New Philadelphia, 330-343-8770; 108 N. Second St., Dennison, 740-922-3600; or 276 Second St. SW, Carrollton, phone 330-627-4101.
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