Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Inc. is accepting fuel assistance applications for the winter heating season from Nov. 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022.
Funding is available to help pay a portion of winter heating bills for income-eligible households in Lawrence, Methuen, Andover, North Andover, Reading and North Reading.
New this year is an option for water and sewer assistance for those who have been disconnected or have been threatened with disconnection. Residents are encouraged to apply even if they work, live in subsidized housing or if utilities are covered through rent.
“Home heating costs are expected to go up by as much as 54 percent this year, which will be a significant burden on many families already struggling to make ends meet,’’ said Evelyn Friedman, executive director of GLCAC, which administers the Low Income Home Energy Program locally. “That’s where GLCAC’s fuel assistance program can help. Starting November 1st, this program offers relief to those who may be forced to choose between food and clothes or a warm home.’’
Aid is available to pay a portion of winter heating bills for the primary heat source. Payments are made directly to the fuel provider and applies to oil, propane, coal, wood, gas, kerosene and electric.
Eligibility is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age or older. Income guidelines and a list of required documents is available at www.glcac.org under the fuel assistance program.
GLCAC’s fuel assistance office is not open to the public, but staff is available by phone, email and at the Help Desk outside 305 Essex St. in Lawrence to process phone interviews, applications and answer questions about fuel assistance.
To help handle the expected high volume of calls, more staff have been added. Calls will be answered Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday will be set aside for scheduled phone appointments.
A fuel assistance staff member will also be available at GLCAC’s Help Desk Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.
GLCAC’s fuel assistance program can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 978-681-4950. Home visits are available to handicapped or elderly residents who are homebound.
Applications have been mailed to previous clients. Clients who have not received an application or are new to the fuel assistance program can call, email or stop by GLCAC’s Help Desk. Clients can also schedule a phone appointment or start an application online at https://toapply.org/GLCAC.
Completed applications and copies of required documentation can be either emailed to email@example.com; mailed to GLCAC LIHEAP, 305 Essex St., Lawrence, MA 01840; dropped in the drop box located outside 305 Essex St.; or handed over to staff at the Help Desk during business hours.
The last day to apply for fuel assistance is April 30, 2022. An application must be signed and postmarked by that date to begin the fuel application process.
GLCAC is a multi-faceted social services agency that assists nearly 34,000 individuals through a range of programs including early childhood education, fuel assistance, WIC nutrition assistance, immigration services, lead poisoning prevention, child abuse prevention, English-language lessons, and consumer protection.