Manatee County is now accepting applications for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly which offers financial help through a grant to residents 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 $18,000 to distribute to needy customers through July 31, 2012.
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 a deposit owed 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 you owe a deposit);
* 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 $16,500 or less to be eligible, and a two-person home must show an income of less than about $22,500.