Energy Crisis Intervention Program Offering Additional Assistance To Low-Income Residents
Low-income Missourians are being offered a boost through the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Gov. Mike Parson announced Feb. 16 the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) would not only pay the minimum amount needed on a family’s fuel bill, but also the maximum disconnect amount (up to $800) toward an eligible participant’s owed balance.
Missourians were under a deep freeze for nearly two weeks as a polar vortex unleashed a crushing amount of Arctic air.
“We are very pleased to announce this improvement to the Energy Crisis Intervention Program, especially given the extreme winter weather our state is currently facing,” Parson said. “Since many Missourians remain in crisis for subsequent months, paying only the minimum to keep a low-income household out of crisis tends to prolong the situation. Now, we can make it faster and easier to resolve a household’s crisis situation.”
“Winter can be especially harsh for low-income Missourians, and we must do all that we can to assure they can heat their homes to remain safe and healthy,” said Jennifer Tidball, acting director at the Missouri Department of Social Services.
LIHEAP provides assistance to more than 108,000 households.
In addition to meeting the income criteria, low-income Missourians must also meet the following criteria to be eligible for winter heating assistance through LIHEAP:
- Be responsible for paying home heating costs,
- Have $3,000 or less in bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments, and
- Be a U.S. citizen or legally admitted for permanent residence.
Missourians in need of information on LIHEAP, Food Stamp, Medicaid, Child Care Subsidy, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit dss.mo.gov. Individuals can also apply for these services 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov.
Missourians with questions not specific to an individual’s case can use the DSS Virtual Assistant for immediate answers to basic questions 24 hours a day. Phone assistance is also available, call 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Missouri Services Navigator also has information on over 2,800 programs and services available in the state.