NEW BRITAIN â€“ The Old Farmerâ€™s Almanac predicted this coming winter will be â€śshivery and snowyâ€ť and heating oil costs are still expected to trend high.
Luckily the CT Energy Assistance Program can help households pay for their primary heating bills, and the New Britain Senior Center is prepared to assist residents 60 and older with the application process.
â€śThe Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is an invaluable resource for senior citizens who struggle financially to keep their homes warm throughout the winter, especially as costs associated with home heating continue to climb,â€ť Senior Center Community Services Coordinator Timothy Boroski told the Herald. â€śProviding application assistance through the New Britain Senior Center allows us to minimize technological and other barriers to program entry, ensure equitable access for all eligible senior citizens, and maximize the impact of the program in our community.â€ť
The New Britain Senior Center has traditionally provided application assistance to about 25 to 30 applicants per program year, which runs from Sept. 1 to May 1.
â€śThat number went up to 56 last year after new efforts to promote it,â€ť Boroski said.
The Human Resources Agency (HRA) of New Britain facilitates the state program locally through its network of partners, assisting lower-income households with the rising costs of winter heating.
Households that are eligible can receive benefits ranging from $100 to $600, depending on different factors. This benefit is applied directly to their heating account.
People must provide proof their household income is at or below sixty percent of the state median household income in order to be eligible. Alternatively, eligible households must currently receive at least one of the following benefits: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA/TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), State Supplement for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled, and Refugee Cash Assistance.
Applicants must bring to their appointment a valid photo identification, Social Security cards, most recent rent receipt or mortgage statement (if applicable), most recent heating, electric, and any other utility bills, verification of current income sources and amounts, most recent state benefits award letter (if applicable), and a 2021 tax return (if applicable), for all household members.
Appointments for seniors over 60 are available at the New Britain Senior Center Mon., Wed. and Fri. at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Call 860-826-3553 to make an appointment. A more detailed list of required documentation is available in both English and Spanish at the Senior Center, 55 Pearl St.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.