NECAC Welcomes Changes to Utility Assistance

April 27, 2021

The not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) is welcoming changes that will allow more low-income people to sign up for utility assistance.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced April 23 that the state is expanding eligibility for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) program to households with incomes up to 135 percent of the federal poverty level to include those with an income of up to 60 percent of state median income.

The change will now allow a family of four with an annual income of up to $51,021 to receive benefits. Previously, the qualifying income level was $35,364.

“We welcome this significant change in eligibility for the LIHEAP program,” said NECAC LIHEAP Supervisor Angela Kattenbraker. “The COVID pandemic has kept more people at home the last year. Consequently, their utility bills often are higher. Expanding LIHEAP will give them an opportunity to use money they would have spent on utilities for other needs.”

The deadline to sign up for LIHEAP winter assistance is May 31. The eligibility for a one-person household is an annual income of $26,531 or less; for two people, $34,694; for three people, $42,858; for five people, $59,184; and for six people $67,348. To determine eligibility for households of more than six people, add an additional $1,536 per year. Other qualifications apply.

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. In addition, the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) offers assistance of up to $800 to qualifying households of those who have received a utility shut-off notice.

For more information, or an application, call or visit one of the following NECAC County Service Centers:

Monroe County: 314 N. Washington in Paris -- 660-327-4110.

Ralls County: 411 Main in New London -- 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 (HHS) provided by the Missouri Department of Social services, Family Support Division.