Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

A Mecklenburg County program is helping eligible homeowners pay their heating bills this winter.

The county’s Department of Social Services is accepting applications through March 31, 2020 for the federally funded Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) to make one-time payments on residents’ heating bills.

Why this matters: As many as 171,000 Mecklenburg County residents meet the financial qualifications for federal assistance with their utility bills, but fewer than 15,000 applied for aid in 2019, according to a county spokesperson.

How it works

Eligible homeowners apply for one-time payments ranging from $300-$500. Payments are made directly to the utility company, not the applicant.

Who is eligible?

Eligible households meet the following criteria:

  • At least one U.S. citizen or legal resident must live in the household
  • Income at or below 130% of the federal poverty level (ex. $15,782 or less for a single person, $32,630 or less for a family of four after deductions)
  • Have cash resources of $2,250 or below
  • Hold responsibility for paying the heating bills

Priority is given to households with one person at least age 60 or receiving disability benefits through the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS). Members of those households can apply now through March 31 deadline. All other households can apply beginning Jan. 2.

How to apply

Apply in person at the Valerie C. Woodard Center located at 3205 Freedom Dr., Suite 1800.

Be sure to bring a valid ID and social security card, proof of income, and a copy of a current utility bill. Applications are accepted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Those who are homebound or have a disability can call 704-432-1111 to complete an application by phone, or send a representative to the Hal Marshall Services Center (700 N. Tryon St.) to apply for them.

Katrina Louis is managing editor of qcitymetro.com who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.

Katrina covers Charlotte's Black business scene for QCity Metro. She's a Miami transplant, pescatarian and lover of the arts. She earned a public relations degree from the University of Florida. Got a...