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Energy bill assistance now available to more seniors through March 31

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Increased funding and eased restrictions provide more flexibility for seniors in Orange and three other counties

From the Senior Resource Alliance

The Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP) recently expanded its eligibility requirements to include households with an applicant age 60 or older and at least one household member who is receiving one or more of the following benefits:

• Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

• Supplemental Social Security (SSI)

• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

This expansion now allows for households that may not have previously met EHEAP’s

income requirements to qualify as “categorically eligible” for energy bill assistance. EHEAP, which is 100% federally funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of

Health and Human Services, helps qualifying seniors pay energy bills in an emergency.

“Although some sectors of the economy are starting to bounce back, our seniors still

need our help,” said Karla Radka, President and CEO of Senior Resource Alliance

(SRA), the organization overseeing EHEAP applications. “Our priority is to provide

assistance to as many senior households as possible – and we are grateful to the state

for expanding these eligibility requirements to accomplish that goal.”

Through March 31, qualifying seniors are now eligible for up to $3,500 of assistance

with multiple energy bills while funds are available. EHEAP applications are being

processed directly by three SRA partner agencies: Osceola Council on Aging in

Osceola and Orange counties; Meals on Wheels, Etc., in Seminole County; and Brevard

Alzheimer’s Foundation in Brevard County.

Additional qualifications for EHEAP include:

• Applicants must be age 60 or older and reside in a home located in one of the

following counites: Orange, Seminole, Osceola or Brevard.

• Energy bill does not need to be in the elder’s name, but the elder will need to

provide proof of residence, such as a driver’s license or other identification.

• Applicant must be experiencing a home energy crisis, such as disconnection,

delinquency or past due bills.

• Applicants who meet the new eligibility requirements must provide proof of TANF, SSI or SNAP benefits, such as an award letter, in addition to

documentation of total household income.

Those interested in applying should contact the Osceola Council on Aging in Osceola and Orange County at (407) 846-8532; Meals on Wheels, Etc., at (407) 333-8877; or Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation at (321) 253-4430. For more information about SRA and its services, please visit SeniorResourceAlliance.org.

Serving the community since 1995, The Senior Resource Alliance (SRA) is the Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida, which covers Brevard, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. SRA works in partnership with nine partner agencies, including the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center, Aging Matters in Brevard, Brevard Alzheimer’s Association, Informed Families, Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc., Meals on Wheels, Etc., Seniors First, Share the Care and Osceola Council on Aging. The agency is the local resource for accessing the many services and programs of the state and federal government available to senior citizens, their caregivers and family members. SRA is also an objective clearinghouse for information and services offered by local, state and national organizations. For more information, visit SeniorResourceAlliance.org.

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