FISHERS — Applications are now being accepted for people in Hamilton County who need help paying utility bills this winter, the Good Samaritan Network announced Friday.
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) provides assistance to low-income households — whether renters or homeowners — who need help maintaining their utility services during the winter season.
Eligibility is based on household size and gross annual income, which can be assessed here. If eligible, discounts are automatically given to the applicants' electric or gas bills.
The Hamilton County EAP provides assistance through a fixed benefit amount for the cost of the primary source of heat, which includes, but is not limited to:
• Natural gas
Indiana's EAP provides financial assistance to low-income households to maintain utility services during the winter heating season. During winter months, this program helps prevent utility companies from shutting off home heating services to low-income families.
On average, about 20 percent of households that are qualified for an EAP receive benefits. When funds run out for the year, no more benefits can be given out until more funds are made available by Congress.
Applications can take up to 55 days to process, and it may take an additional 30 days for utility companies to process a benefit if chosen.
“Last year our office coordinated assistance for 1,284 Hamilton County households in eight cities with nearly $550,000 in assistance benefits," Nancy Chance, Executive Director of Good Samaritan Network, said.