Catholic Charities taking applications for energy assistance

June 26, 2019 — (Wilmington, DE) — Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wilmington is now scheduling appointments for Delaware households to apply for a benefit from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This federally-funded program assists eligible low-income households with heating bills through direct payments to home energy suppliers. Catholic Charities is the statewide administrator for LIHEAP in Delaware. The LIHEAP benefit is based on a household’s income, size, and type of fuel.

“This benefit allows individuals and families to stay safely and comfortably in their homes. Although the program does not pay for all heating costs, it does provide an important financial supplement,” said Richelle A. Vible, Executive Director. “So many of our neighbors suffer during the colder months because they can’t afford their energy bills – the senior citizen who turns off all electrical appliances and heat and bathes at a neighbor’s, the grandparents now raising grandchildren, a single parent in training for a better paying job. These are just some of the many persons that are helped through the LIHEAP program.”

LIHEAP offers the following supports to eligible households:

The Fuel Assistance Program, providing home heating assistance for low income families who need help paying winter energy bills. LIHEAP does not pay for all heating costs. Eligible households receive one annual benefit. Applications are accepted July 1 through March 31.

The Energy Crisis Intervention Program, making help available to eligible households in an emergency situation. This supplemental benefit can be in addition to the regular fuel assistance benefit.

The Summer Cooling / Electric Assistance Program, helping low-income families by paying a portion of summer electric bills. Eligible households receive one annual benefit. The Program operates from June 1 through August 31, if funds are available. In order to qualify for the Summer Cooling Program, households must be have been previously approved for the Fuel Assistance Heating Program.

Households may qualify for assistance if their total income falls within eligibility guidelines. For example, a household of 4 can have no more than $50,325 in annual household income (before taxes). In order to apply, you must make an appointment with a Catholic Charities office for a personal interview. Applications are accepted from July through March.

Call the local Catholic Charities office to get an appointment. Regular office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• In Kent County, call (302) 674-1782
• In New Castle County, call (302) 654-9295
• In Sussex County, call (302) 856-6310

If a household is eligible for LIHEAP, it may also qualify for other programs that require LIHEAP eligibility. For example, if a home is not as energy efficient as it could be, the household may qualify for home weatherization improvements through the Delaware Weatherization Assistance Program. Catholic Charities administers the Weatherization Assistance Program in Kent and Sussex Counties.

When a client comes to their appointment, they should bring the following information to more quickly move the application forward.
• Social security cards for all members 6 months of age and over
• Proof of U.S. Citizenship, [i.e. U.S. Birth Certificates/Naturalization papers]
• Proof of Qualified Alien Status, if appropriate
• Photo ID with proof of current address
• Copy of current utility bill (electric, natural gas, propane etc.)
• Lease if renter, or proof of home ownership
• 3 months of income documentation for all adults in the household

Established in 1830 as St. Peter’s Orphanage in Wilmington, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wilmington delivers critical direct care human services to over 80,000 individuals and families residing in Delaware and the nine counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. No one is excluded from service because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, or ability to pay. Services provide help for people that result in positive changes in their daily lives and create strong and productive individuals and families.

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Contact: Paula Savini
[email protected]