HANNIBAL — Colder weather is just around the corner, and the not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation is gearing up.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Energy Crisis Intervention Program begin Monday, Nov. 1, for qualifying elderly and disabled clients, and will start Wednesday, Dec. 1, for families and individuals.

Applications have already been mailed to people who received assistance last year. However, payments won’t be made until the starting dates. New clients may sign up after the dates listed. Applications are available at NECAC County Service Centers, online at www.necac.org or by calling 573-324-0120.

“We encourage anyone needing heating assistance to apply because this program is an important supplement for many people and families to ensure they stay warm this winter,” said NECAC LIHEAP Supervisor Angela Kattenbraker. “Money that people save on their utility bills can then be used for other needs.”

The programs are funded by the federal government and distributed through the states, which contract with non-profit groups such as NECAC to administer them at the local level.

LIHEAP assists with paying part of the energy bills of income-qualifying people. Eligible households could receive a minimum of $47 up to a maximum of $495, depending upon income, household size and type of heating source. Payments are made directly to utility companies.

ECIP offers assistance of up to $800 to qualifying households of those who have received a utility shut-off notice. The program is not activated until long cold snaps take place.

Clients must be within 60 percent of state median income guidelines. A family of four can qualify if its income is less than $4,252 a month. For a one-person household, the cut off is $2,211 a month.

NECAC has been awarded $2.1 million for the winter portion of the program and still has more than $1 million from the summer program that will be carried over.

More information is available by contacting the regional NECAC Service Center.

Marion County: 3518 Palmyra Road in Hannibal — 573-221-7166

Ralls County: 411 Main in New London, Mo. — 573-985-2411

NECAC is contractually-obligated to include the following: This program is funded 100% at $2,440,475.75 with federal funds received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided by the Missouri Department of Social services, Family Support Division.

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