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Energy Assistance for Low-Income Seniors Now Available


MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County is now accepting applications for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly grant which offers financial help to residents ages 60 and older who have an economic hardship.

Tracie Adams, Manatee's Human Services Manager, said with state grant money the county may approve up to $600 in assistance for a household twice a year: Once during the cooling season, April 1 to Sept. 30, and again during the heating season, Oct. 1 to March 31. Manatee has about $5,000 per month to distribute to needy customers through March 31, 2015.

The program is extended to Florida Power & Light and Peace River Electric Cooperative customers.

"These are crisis benefits -- you're in jeopardy of having your power turned off or need it turned back on," Adams said. "Recipients must have a final notice, past due amount or have their power disconnected in order to get the financial assistance.”

To be eligible for assistance, applicants must:

* Be part of a household with at least one person age 60 or older in the home;

* Have a documented heating or cooling emergency (a past due amount on your bill; a final notice of disconnection has been issued or your electric has been turned off);

* Earn a gross household annual income equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. That means a one-person household could have an income of about $17,200 or less to be eligible. A two-person home must show an income of less than about $23,200.


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