According to Shelia Calloway, director of Tallatoona Community Action Partners in Gordon County, Tallatoona is currently equipped with over $200,000 to assist families in Gordon County to pay their heating bills this winter as a part of the federal 2011 Energy Assistance Program.
Throughout the month of November, Tallatoona is accepting applications for elderly households with occupants age 65 or older or individuals who are homebound, according to Calloway.
Homebound are defined as currently being cared for by hospice and/or only being able to leave the house in an ambulance, said Calloway.
Last year, Tallatoona was able to assist 2,600 families with approximately $800,000 worth of federal funding for heating assistance, according to Calloway.
“Of course, back last year, that’s when all the stimulus money was coming in,” she said.
The awarding of assistance is based on income, according to Calloway, and families are able to receive upwards of $300 in aid for their heating in the winter months.
For example, in order for a single individual to qualify for assistance, their total monthly income must be at or below $1,828. For a family of four, their combined monthly income must be at or below $3,516.
“For some of these elderly people, that could pay their heating bill through the winter,” she said.
According to Calloway, household income does not include property that is owned, but does include income, such as social security, unemployment, wages, rent from tenants at a rental property or veteran benefits.
Federal funds are allocated in stages, Calloway said, so it is possible that Tallatoona will receive more funds at the beginning of December.
“We’re excited about helping all these (families) with their heat for the winter,” she said.
Tallatoona is able to assist families with various heating vendors including natural gas, electric, wood, coal and liquefied petroleum gas, according to Calloway.
Elderly individuals 65 years-old or older who are applying for assistance can now call and set-up an appointment for assistance.
At the appointment, seniors must bring a social security card, picture identification with date-of-birth in order to verify age, proof of income for the last 30 days and their most recent heating bill.
Applications for assistance from citizens under the age of 65 will begin Dec. 1, “providing funds are available,” said Calloway.
Those wishing to apply can call and set-up an appointment beginning and December. Those under the age of 65 are not required to bring picture identification.
To set up an appointment with Tallataoona CAP, call 706-629-2333.