As winter months approach, counties are taking action to help families in need

As winter months approach, counties are taking action to help families in need
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 7:56 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The federal low-income energy assistance program is now taking applications with the potential of helping thousands of families.

As the days get darker faster and the looming winter starts to drop our temperatures, “LIEAP” – a program with a fun little name is looking to help folks keep the lights on and the heat running as energy use increases.

“I have oxygen that I use constantly, so I need, you know, electricity, so whatever the cost, I got to pay it cause I don’t want to be in the dark, and I need air to breathe,” said Mary Moore, a LIEAP applicant.

Any household with a person older than 60 or an individual who receives disability benefits is eligible to apply and could be eligible for between $300.00 and $500.00. Once a family or individual is accepted into the program, LIEAP makes a one-time payment to the utility vendor.

“It doesn’t matter how you heat your home; it’s not just for energy bills, and I think that’s a major misconception, so whether you heat with coal or wood, LP gas, oil or electricity, we can help,” Jessica Adams, Carteret County DSS Director.

When you apply, you’ll need to show all income received one month prior to the date of the application as well as names, birthdays and social security numbers of everyone living in the household. Finally, you’ll need proof of how the home is heated.

“This is a difficult time for people due to increase cost of not only fuel and electricity needed for heating during cold weather but all the other increases expenses people are experiencing now,” said Bryan Averette, Economic Support Services.

Nearly 4,000 families are expected to apply in Pitt county alone. For more information on where you can apply, give your local department of social services a call.