Energy help application process starts Monday

Low-income households that need help with heating costs can apply

ALBANY — Beginning Monday, low-income households can apply for Georgia’s Energy Assistance Program to help with winter heating bills.

But officials with the Dougherty County Neighborhood Service Center, which administers the program locally, are stressing that individuals who want to apply for the help must first call the center to be placed on a waiting list for an appointment for completing the application.

Phone numbers for the center are (229) 883-1365 and (229) 364-9629. Callers will be scheduled on a first-call/first-served basis. The center will begin accepting the calls on Monday.

The annual income range to qualify for the program ranges from $21,029 for a single individual to $55,809 for a family of eight, with each additional family member above that adding $1,213 to the maximum eligible income level. For a family of four, the maximum income amount is $40,441.

Officials with the center caution that households in which fuel costs are included in their rent and those who receive utility assistance or utility checks from other sources are ineligible for the program.

Applicants are required to have the following items:

— Proof of income of all household members for the last 30 days. Acceptable documents include paycheck stubs or letters granting public assistance, Social Security or unemployment benefits;

— Social Security cards for all household members;

— The applicant’s most recent utility or fuel bill.