As well, the Affordability Fund provides eligible residents with Energy Star certified appliances, insulation and weather stripping. You’ve received LEAP emergency financial assistance within the past two years, or, You are receiving assistance under the Ontario. If you believe that your utility or unit sub-meter provider has broken our customer service rules we want to hear from you. It helps those families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but do not make enough to afford private insurance. Emergency financial assistance is for emergency situations only and is not meant to provide you with ongoing help to pay your bills. We’re monitoring the system and holding your utility service provider to account. 1-800-257-8563 A disconnection notice, if you have received one, A copy of a rental contract, lease or mortgage documents, Proof of household income – cheque stub, employment letter, income tax return for adult members of household, A copy of your most recent bank statement. The Ontario Energy Board works to ensure a sustainable, reliable energy sector in Ontario. LIHEAP is a low-income grant, that gives families a check to help with utility bills. There are also special customer service rules available for low-income households. Help Paying Your Bills Keeping up with your monthly bills is never easy, especially for families juggling debt payments, household bills, and the day-to-day costs of raising a family. If you default on your arrears payment agreement or regular bill payment more than twice, your utility can cancel it. Learn about the rules that utilities and energy retailers must follow and how we enforce them. Note: if you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider, then the special rules regarding billing errors do not apply. Thanks to BenefitsCheckUp ®, I have an extra $126 every month to help pay for food. “They’d been out, tromping in the bush… trying to find as much free wood as they could….They obviously were burning through it, so they … took the child’s bed apart to burn.” Before Ontario’s ban on winter disconnection more than two years ago, Dobbyn heard “tons of stories of people who got their electricity cut off.”, For just over 10 years, 211 Central East Ontario has processed more than 3,000 energy-related intakes for the UWBG. If your LEAP intake agency notifies your natural gas utility that you may be eligible for emergency financial assistance, they must suspend any disconnection process for a maximum of 21 days from the notification date. Even if you have a budget and stick to it, you may still be left panicking when an unforeseen bill or expense pops up to threaten your delicate financial balance. Funds may be limited. Rate-regulated natural gas utilities have to follow special rules when dealing with low-income customers; for example, waiving security deposits and allowing longer payment times under arrears payment plans. There are several programs to help pay utility bills and energy conservation programs in Ontario. If your pet has a disability and needs a device to help … You will then have 10 days to request a cheque or they will apply the amount as a credit to your electricity bill. You might also qualify for the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), which applies a monthly credit directly to electricity bills. As part of this process, the agency will contact your electricity or natural gas provider and ask them to pause any further disconnection or collection activity on your account until a decision is made. COVID-19 Energy Assistance Programs (CEAP) The Government of Ontario is making funding available to support residential, small business and charitable organization customers that are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. We’re protecting you. A copy of a rental contract, lease or mortgage docu… Understand how your bill works and how rates are set. If you previously paid a security deposit you can ask to have it back (as long as any outstanding arrears have been paid). You will likely have to meet with a representative of the social agency for an interview. The agency looking at your case will decide whether or not you qualify as low-income. Winter Fuel Payment. Families seeking money to pay for stuff may be able to get help. The survey found a quarter of Canadians described themselves at struggling or on the edge of financial hardship. They will save up and work with their supplier to buy 10 cord and then apply to our program, and we buy the other six cord and the wood supplier delivers it all at once.”, Dobbyn recounts the story of one family who reached out for support after they had run out of wood. LIHEAP energy assistance program. You can also chat online with 211 through the link at the top of this page, Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Or you can enter ‘utility assistance’ and your municipality on. These inexpensive internet plans, income-based programs, and low-income family plans help reduce the cost of staying connected. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to help with: Assistance to pay your heating or cooling bills; Emergency services in cases of energy crisis, such as utility shutoffs; Low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, that make your home more energy efficient and lower your utility bills. Am I eligible for … Manage personal finances. There are government assistance grants available to help single mothers improve the life and standing of their families. They will rarely, if ever, turn anyone away that is genuinely fighting. 211 is a helpline available by phone, chat, or online search that helps Ontario residents navigate the comple... 211 is a helpline and online database of Ontario's community and social services. For example, if you were undercharged for 3 months, you have 3 months to pay back your utility. The Lifeline program is designed to help qualified low-income individuals pay the monthly cost of basic telephone service. low income assistance program If you are struggling to pay your bill, we may be able to help. A number of social services are administered. The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) is a year-round emergency financial assistance program developed by the Ontario Energy Board to assist low-income energy customers who may be experiencing difficulty paying current arrears. When preparing your taxes, the Ontario Trillium Benefit offers the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, a tax-free payment to help with property taxes and sales tax on energy costs. We thought our income was too high to qualify. Various agencies, like the Homelessness Network in Sudbury or the Salvation Army Community and Family Services in Strathroy, administer LEAP on a local level. It offers a maximum grant of $500 per household per year ($600 for electrically heated homes). These websites and phone lines can help you find assistance programs and charities that meet your specific needs – all in one step. Credited to your account with the utility or unit sub-meter provider if it's, Credited to your account with the utility if it's. In 2009, 211 Central East Ontario began processing applications for the UWBG’s programs, including its Utility Assistance Program, which helps eligible residents with up to $600 every 12 months for wood, oil or propane gas bills and up to $500 for municipal sewer and water bills. Get information on budgeting, banking, mortgages and credit cards to help you make responsible financial decisions. Your utility will also be notified if your application is denied. The UWBG helps local low-income residents pay utility bills that are beyond their reach. Among the top charities to turn to for short term financial help, advice, counseling, referrals, and support can be your local church. The UWBG helps local low-income residents pay utility bills that are beyond their reach. The assistance is only available if you are behind on your bill – or in arrears – and may face having your service disconnected. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) pays up to $500 of the amount owing on your bill (up to $600 if your home is electrically heated). As part of this process, the agency will contact your electricity or natural gas provider and ask them to pause any further disconnection or collection activity on your account until a decision is made. For many low-income Ontario residents, the struggle to meet basic needs, like heating their home, can be just one challenge. The program not only helps pay for heating, but the entire utility bill for low-income families. When your security deposit is returned, it will either be: If the electricity utility made a mistake and overcharged you, they have to tell you. One of them is the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP). There’s also the Save On Energy Program Home Assistance Program, which offers free energy upgrades like high-efficiency showerheads or energy-efficient refrigerators. I never knew this kind of help was available for people like me. They know they need 15 or 16 cords to get through the winter. Social services in a municipality might also be an option; for instance, York Region helps low-income residents with utility bills through its Housing Stability Program. Childcare assistance is provided when parents work or attend school. The amount of income it takes to qualify depends on two factors: For example, a home with four people and an annual after-tax income of $37,000 would be eligible for a LEAP Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) grant. The agency looking at your case will decide whether or not you qualify as low-income. LIHEAP and Weatherization assistance help millions of people every year with their home energy expenses. LIHEAP, the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program, helps disadvantaged families with a yearly check of up to $350 to assist with utilities. Your voice matters. Identification 2. The wood program “has exploded,” going from 135 applicants in 2017-2018 to 171 in 2018-2019, she says. It provides monthly on-bill credits for lower-income customers to reduce their electricity bills. You will not receive a cheque. Wheelchairs and mobility assistance for pets. People will call 211 about one issue, but they know it’s usually way more than that one issue. Grants are issued on your behalf and paid directly to your utility. Get help with gas, water or electric bills. This chart shows if you are eligible. ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND “The partnership with 211 is really important to us,” says Dobbyn. “The beauty of 211 is that when you have a bill you can’t pay, all you need to do is pick up the phone and call 211, and they can connect you to a program and inform you whether or not you could qualify,” says Francesca Dobbyn, Executive Director of the United Way of Bruce Grey (UWBG), one of 211 Ontario’s community partners. The LIHEAP assistance program is a federally funded energy program that helps pay energy bills for disadvantaged households. Few agencies offer support with non-traditional heating sources. Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) LEAP is a grant program that helps those who are struggling to pay past due bills or have already received a disconnection notice. If your natural gas has been disconnected by your utility, you will not have to pay the reconnection fee. In order to qualify, your household income has to fall below a certain limit. Learn how you can take part. 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