PALM BEACH COUNTY — Considering the summer temperatures and high home energy costs, August is Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) awareness month in Palm Beach County. LIHEAP is a grant program that helps eligible families pay their energy bills. In grant year 2017, the county’s Community Services Department Community Action Program (CAP) helped 7,879 local families experiencing financial distress with home energy costs through LIHEAP. This assistance can reduce the percentage of household income spent on home energy bills and prevent disconnection or restore electric service.
“Each day in Palm Beach County, hundreds of families experience utility service disconnection, especially our most vulnerable residents. Out of all of the families that we served during our last grant year, 78 percent had either an elderly person, a disabled person, or a young child living in their home,” said CAP Program Manager Natalie Diaz-Rodriguez. “LIHEAP is vital and essential to the residents we serve. It saves lives. Without electric service, people won’t receive oxygen from their tanks, have fresh food in the refrigerator or adequate lighting to complete homework. The Community Action Program provides economic stability for those in need.”
Types of LIHEAP assistance categories available to eligible clients include home energy assistance (up to $450 once every 12 months), crisis benefit (up to $600 twice a year for past due bills) and weather-related assistance during a natural disaster.
Clients can submit an application for LIHEAP funds through a self-service portal without having to visit an office. To access the portal, go topbcgov.com/OSCARSS.
For more information or assistance, please call the Community Action Program at 561-355-4208, Natalie Diaz.