Mecklenburg County's assisting program for residents' cooling bills

Dexter Mcrae

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC – For those Mecklenburg residents who are struggling with the cooling bills, the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services is providing funds with the Crisis Intervention Program and Low-Income Energy Assistance Program.

The CIP funds are available all year-round or until the funds run out. It is designed for assisting individuals or families who are struggling with a heating or cooling matter, facing a life-threatening or health-related emergency, and have past due utility bills.

Unlike CIP, the LIEAP funds are only available from December to May, or until the funds run out. LIEAP is a federal program that gives household assistance regarding home heating needs. In December, the assistance is prioritized for elder residents aged 60 or older, or disabled and receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services.

The funds are eligible for qualified households and the county will do some document verifications. Applicants are required to submit a utility bill, proof of income, social security number, or any form of identification such as ID card, driver’s license, or passport.

To be able to apply for CIP, residents need to meet the qualifications that include U.S. citizens or legal residents, having an income below 150% of Federal Poverty Level, responsible for energy bills and must be in an urgency that is related to heating or cooling.

For LIEAP, applicants should be registered as U.S. citizens or legal residents, having an income below 130% of Federal Poverty Level, responsible for energy bills, possess resources (savings, retirement account, stocks, bonds, mutual funds) at or below $2,250, and do not have to miss any electricity or natural gas bill to get the help.

Applicants can apply for assistance through offline or online registrations. Details about the program’s registration along with the annual income guidelines can be accessed through this website.

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