As temps soar, federal assistance can help Florida seniors stay cool at home
Qualifying households can get help with AC repairs, utility bills and other heating or cooling needs through the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program for the Elderly.
As soaring temps drive utility bills higher, the Senior Resource Alliance is emphasizing there is help for some Florida families struggling to pay those bills.
Alliance president and CEO Karla Radka said qualifying households can get help with air-conditioning repairs, utility bills and other heating or cooling needs through the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program for the Elderly.
"Right now, especially while we are facing a heat wave and summer months," Radka said, "it's so important to ensure that seniors are comfortable and that those energy bills are paid on time and that there are no disruptions in services."
Households with a resident 60 or older can receive up to $5,000 for multiple utility bills. There are household income requirements.
Radka said the federal grant of a half-million dollars a year has been an "incredible blessing."
"This past year, we actually helped 1,755 seniors," Radka said. "Those are families in our community that have benefited from this program.
The Senior Resource Alliance offers assistance in Orange, Osceola, Brevard and Seminole counties.
The federal assistance is also available through other area agencies on aging around the state.
The alliance provided this information who may qualify for assistance in Central Florida:
- Applicants must be age 60 or older and reside in a home in Orange, Osceola, Brevard or Seminole county.
- 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.
- Applicants age 60 and older with at least one household member who is receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Social Security (SSI), and/or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits must provide proof of additional benefits such as an award letter, in addition to documentation of total household income.
- The applicant must be experiencing a home energy crisis (disconnected, delinquent or past due).
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