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How to apply for utility assistance through Winter Crisis Program

Stairway in park winter season with snow
Posted at 12:38 PM, Oct 27, 2021

CLEVELAND — Step Foward’s Home Energy Assistance Program’s Winter Crisis Program, which helps residents with their utility bills, will begin on Nov. 1 and will run through the end of March.

The Winter Crisis Program helps eligible Cuyahoga County residents who are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected, or have less than a 25% supply of bulk fuel in their tank, maintain their utility service.

Eligible households can receive up to $175 if they are a client of a regulated utility, or $750 if they are a client of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities.

The one-time benefit can be used in emergency situations. The assistance is applied to their utility bill or applied to heating system repair costs.

To be considered eligible, Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance.

To apply for the program, residents have to make an appointment by calling 216-350-8008 or online.

Clients need to bring copies of the following documents to their appointment:

  • Copies of most recent energy bills; utility bills (gas and/or electric), regardless of account status. 
  • A list of all household members and proof of income for the last 30 days or 12 months for each member. 
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency for all household members. 
  • Proof of disability (if applicable). 
  • Birth dates and Social Security numbers for all household members.

Customers with scheduled appointments should submit their documentation at least three days in advance of their appointment to receive assistance at the time of appointment.

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