Brightpoint (formerly CANI) is seeking applications for energy assistance for all of its offices in Allen, DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley counties. The Energy Assistance Program helps pay a portion of participants’ heating bills with a one-time benefit. The average benefit that each family receives for their utility bill is about $290. This amount differs from family to family and is based on income, household size, dwelling type, and heating source.
“A lot of people think they won’t qualify because they over-estimate their income,” said Lesa Cassel, Family Support Services Manager. She urges everyone who thinks they are even close to the income guidelines to fill out an application and let Brightpoint’s staff determine their eligibility.
Another common reason why some people don’t apply is that they don’t want to take assistance that someone else might need more than they do. “We don’t want people to think of this as taking the money away from someone else,” said Lesa. “The assistance is here to be used and if we can help you with one month’s utility bill, you can use the extra money for other bills or put it into savings so you can be prepared for future unexpected expenses.”
Appointments are available for households that have received a disconnect notice or whose utilities are already disconnected. Households not currently up for disconnect may complete the paper application and submit it for processing. Applications can be found on Brightpoint’s web site www.mybrightpoint.org.
The program runs through May 13, 2016. Applicants must meet income levels:
· One-person household – No more than $17,655 annually.
· Two-person household – No more than $23,895 annually.
· Three-person household – No more than $30,135 annually
· Four-person household – No more than $36,375 annually
· Add $6,240 for each additional family member.
At all locations, the following must be brought to the appointment and is mandatory to complete an application:
· Proof of Income for previous 12 months (Current W-2’s for all household members, current paystubs, SS and/or SSDI award letters, unemployment income, Veterans benefits; pensions, etc.)
o Household members 18 and older with no income must obtain a Wage History statement from the WorkOne office.
o Household members 18 and older and in school must submit a school schedule.
· Current utility bills for heat and electric. Utility bills must be in a household member’s name older than the age of 18.
· Completed Landlord Affidavit or copy of current, signed lease.
· Completed application with your signature and date.
· Social Security Number documentation for all household members older than the age of 1 that have a social security number. (Examples: Social Security card, federal form with full Social Security Number, pay stub with full Social Security Number, Social Security award letter. IRS 1040s cannot be used to verify Social Security Numbers.)
· Photo IDs for all household members 18 and older.
Those who need to make an appointment can do so by calling Brightpoint’s dedicated appointment line 24 hours a day at 1-800-589-2264 or 2-1-1.
Brightpoint is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving more than 35,000 people across northeast Indiana. Through a wide range of programs, Brightpoint helps communities, families, and individuals remove the causes and conditions of poverty. All Brightpoint services are provided without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, ancestry, or status as a veteran.