MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 7, 2012

P.M. UPDATE: Cherokees provide low-income energy assistance


— TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation is again providing funding through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for eligible Cherokees and other Native Americans this winter.

LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that serves low-income households in need of assistance with home energy bills. Priority is given to households with a high energy burden or those with a vulnerable individual in the home, such as a young child under five, a disabled person or a frail older individual.

Income eligibility levels are based on income plus the number of persons residing in the home. Income this year cannot exceed poverty level plus 50 percent. For example, a household of two cannot have a combined income that total more than $1,891 per month, or $22,695 per year. A household of four cannot have combined incomes of more than $2,881 per month or $34,575 per year. For complete income guidelines, please contact the Cherokee Nation Family Assistance Program.

To be eligible, a person must reside with the tribal jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation, have a Tribal membership card, show proof of income for the previous twelve months, show proof of residency and provide energy vendor information. Payments will be made to the vendor in recipient’s name. LIHEAP payments could possibly be provided by other area agencies; however, a household can only legally receive services through one agency.

Applications will be accepted through Dec. 20, 2012. Applications for crisis situations will be accepted Jan. 3-31, 2013. For more information, contact Janet L. Ward, Cherokee Nation LIHEAP coordinator, at (918) 453-5327.