Fuel assistance program open for applications

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Jack Cocio, chief executive officer of South Shore Community Action Council wishes to announce that the fuel assistance program is open for applications. According to a press release, Nov. 1 is the first day for deliveries or assistance with shutoffs. Anyone who did not receive an application in the mail and feels that they may qualify is encouraged to apply.

Residents may apply at the intake sites listed below. Phone calls to the main office in Plymouth via a live operator are accepted between the hours of 8:30 and 4 pm at 508-746-6707, or toll-free 877-FUEL-AID. There is also a 24-hour voice-response phone system which, using a touchtone phone, enables applicants and clients to find out about how the fuel assistance program works, to access the status of their application, to hear a list of payments made, and for heating companies to access daily or weekly oil pricing and payment histories.

New applicants must bring proof of income for the past 30 days for all household members over 18, picture identification, proof of citizenship (Social Security card, birth certificate, or valid U.S. passport) and proof of street address. Households who have used the same primary heat source for at least 12 months should bring copies of their heating bills for the 12 months prior to application for a potentially higher fuel assistance benefit level. For clients in an emergency situation who have a utility shutoff notice, or whose utilities are shut off, all income and other information must be brought to the office the day you apply in order to receive emergency assistance.

Eligibility is based on gross income and household size. Heating season benefit levels range from $448 to $1,100 for nonsubsidized residents, and $315 to $770 for some subsidized housing residents. Eligibility for fuel assistance also provides 12 months of discounts on electric, natural gas, and Verizon telephone bills. Fuel assistance eligibility may also provide eligibility for free weatherization and heating system repair. Applications will be taken through April 30, 2018.

New applicants may apply at the Dukes County Administration Building, 9 Airport Rd, Edgartown — call for an appointment at 508-696-3844; the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, 20 Black Brook Road, Aquinnah — call 508-645-9265, ext. 130, Monday to Friday 9 to 5 pm for an appointment; or for clients of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, call 508-696-7563 to schedule an appointment. Senior citizens may also call their local Councils on Aging: Edgartown COA (elderly only), call for an appointment at 508-627-4368, ext. 15; Oak Bluffs COA (elderly only) call 508-693-4509, ext. 13, for an appointment; Tisbury COA (elderly only), call 508-696-4205 for an appointment; Up-Island COA (elderly only), call 508-693-2896 for an appointment, as they also take applications. For further information, you may call SSCAC Fuel Assistance at 508-746-6707, toll-free 877-FUEL-AID, or visit the website for a complete listing of volunteer sites and their contact information and hours for fuel assistance applications at sscac.org.