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MICA to offer energy assistance to low-income families

Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. is now accepting applications for the agency’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The agency will accept applications from individuals age 60 or older and those with a disability. On Nov. 1, MICA will begin accepting all other LIHEAP applications.

LIHEAP provides a one-time payment to help pay a household’s heating costs. To be eligible for assistance, individuals must earn 150 percent or less of federal poverty guidelines. This year, an individual can earn no more than $17,235 annually to be eligible. A family of four could not earn more than $35,325. However, individuals who do not meet income requirements may be able to qualify with a medical hardship exception.

Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Iowa Department of Human Rights/Division of Community Action Agencies, LIHEAP is not designed to pay a household’s total energy costs for the winter. Instead, it provides supplemental assistance based on several factors, including household income, household size, dwelling type, type of heating fuel and others. Households that are approved for LIHEAP may also qualify for weatherization services from MICA as well.

To apply, contact MICA’s Story County Family Development Center at 230 SE 16th St. in Ames. To schedule an appointment, call 515-956-3333 or toll-free 877-289-4668. LIHEAP forms and instructions may also be found on www.micaonline.org. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2014.

To apply, please bring the following to your appointment:

• A copy of your most recent heating and electric bill.

• Proof of all household members’ gross incomes for the past three months or the most recent income tax return. Documentation of the most recent 30 days of income may also be acceptable. To learn more, call your local MICA Family Development Center.

• Birth dates and general information for all household members.

• Social Security cards or I-94 cards for all household members.

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