The Fuel Assistance season begins November 1st and ends April 30th , unless an extension period is given by the state. The state uses a formula that gives the lowest income households with the highest fuel cost, the highest benefits. The fuel assistance which will be received through Self Help, Inc. will likely not cover your entire heating costs this winter. For first time applicants a face-to-face interview is required, there are no exceptions. There is no down loadable application that can be taken away, filled out and returned at a later date. If you are eligible for the fuel program, Self Help, Inc. will pay your participating fuel dealer directly. This fuel assistance program, which is also known as the "Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) will cover payments for your primary heat source, i.e., oil, kerosene, propane, wood or coal, as well as natural gas and electric utilities.
There is no priority given to seniors or disabled individuals, so be sure to apply for fuel assistance early in the heating season and don't wait until you are in an emergency.
Homeowners are eligible for the program as well as renters who are paying for their heat directly and in some cases where heat is included in the rent. If you are not sure if you qualify, contact the program and ask how your situation will be handled. For people are experiencing a heating or fuel crisis, such as a utility shutoff notice, the immanent loss of heat, every effort will be made to expedite your application provided that all required documentation is received and your application is considered complete.
What You Will Need for Your Fuel Assistance Appointment
- Names, birth dates and social security cards for all household member (Social security numbers are used to check income information, but are not required for eligibility)
- Photo I.D. for the head of household (only)
- Proof of address (if not the same on photo ID)
- Birth Certificates for Children under 18
Because your fuel assistance benefit is based on the total combined gross household income. Every applicant is required to provide proof of income for the past 30 days (from the date of your appointment), for allhousehold members who are 18 years or older. The exception to this is listed below under college students. The types of incomes considered are:
Wages: If you are paid bi-weekly you will need to submit two (2) consecutive pay stubs. If you are paid weekly four (4) consecutive pay stubs.
Pension, Annuity, 401K disbursements: Copies of monthly check OR statement OR letter from source OR 1099. (Bank statements are not accepted)
SSI and SSDI: Copy of award letter for current calendar year or bank statement.
Unemployment: check stubs or if you have direct deposit a “historical print-out” from the Unemployment office showing your last 30 days. (We do not accept bank statements as proof of unemployment benefits or the “Determination of Benefits” form because it is only a ‘determination of monetary eligibility and does not necessarily entitle you to benefits’.
Worker Compensation: in addition to the past 30 days of compensation that you have received you will also need some documentation showing a date as to when your benefits began if this is not noted on your check stub.
VA Benefits/Chapter 115 Benefits: we will need documentation showing what you receive each month.
Interest Bearing Accounts: statements showing interest collected.
Child Support: we will need either copies of the four (4) most recent child support checks received if you are paid directly by the parent, if there is no court order to accompany these check stubs we will need a self declaration from that parent stating what they pay you each week and that statement will need to be signed in front of a Notary and Notarized. We will also need this statement if that parent pays you cash whether there is a court order or not. If you receive your payment through the DOR (Department of Revenue) then a computer print out from their site is all that is needed.
Alimony: Court order.
Self-Employment: we will need a copy of your most recent tax return with the Schedule C; it should be signed by both the preparer and/or yourself. In cases where you self-prepare, we will need a Notarized copy and you will need to complete an additional form granting the IRS to send to us directly a certified copy.
Rental Income: we will need a copy of your most recent tax return with Schedule E, proof of rental income and expenses; it should be signed by both the preparer and/or yourself. In cases where you self-prepare, we will need a Notarized copy and you will need to complete an additional form granting the IRS to send to us directly a certified copy.
It is important to note that in certain circumstances when there is not enough income coming into the home to cover the monthly expenses, and you are 18 years or older and you have no income and are not a full time student, you must provide documentation that you are not receiving benefits from the following agencies:
- Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) (call to request verification) 800.632.8095
- Social Security Office (SS)(must request in person) 106 Pleasant Street Attleboro MA
- Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) (must request in person) 67 Mechanic Street Attleboro MA
College Students: If you are 18 years old and attending college you will need to obtain a letter from your college Registrar’s office indicating that you are a matriculating student.
Utility, Rent and Mortgage Information
Copy of current heating bill (oil, kerosene, propane, wood, pellets, electric and natural gas), that shows your name on the account, theaccount number, service address, rate and usage amount. If your bill is in someone else’s name we will need a signed and notarized statement from that individual indicating why the bill is in their nameand further stating that even though the bill is in their name it is you who is responsible for paying that bill.
Lease/Rental Agreement: When possible we take copies of these documents. If your heat is included in your rent we will sent a form to your landlord for verification of this fact.
Subsidized Rental/Rental Assistance: If your rent is subsidized we will need a copy of your lease/rental agreement and the Rental Calculation Worksheet reflecting the actual amount of rent paid.
Mortgage Statement: most current mortgage statement, along with your most current property tax and home owner’s insurance bills should they not be included in the mortgage. If you do not have a mortgage, than we will have you sign a statement that indicates you do not have a mortgage this and we will need to see your most current property tax and home owner’s insurance bills.
If you do not heat with electricity please bring your bill we may be able to assist you in receiving the R-2 rating if you do not already.
If you are behind on any bills or have collection notices we will need to see those most recent bills reflecting the total amount you are in arrears.
For more information
Please contact the Norton Fuel Assistance Program