VALPARAISO | Porter County Aging and Community Services is in the midst of the Energy Assistance season and the agency has already helped more than 500 clients through this essential program.
The income-eligible program helps qualified participants who need assistance with their energy bills during the winter season. When participants qualify for a determined amount, the payment is electronically paid to the appropriate energy company.
Those who have been issued a disconnect notice or need more immediate energy help can be seen as a walk-in on a first-come, first-serve basis at the agency’s offices, 1005 N. Campbell St. Anyone in need of help should call the PCACS’ offices to schedule an appointment and to receive details on what documents and information are needed to qualify.
“We remind the community that in order to be successful to apply, individuals must have the right materials. We are scheduling approximately five appointments a day to allow for walk-ins,” said PCACS Executive Director Bruce Lindner. “We continue to encourage community members to call ahead in order to review what documents and information are needed to complete the process.”
In general, individuals will need to have a recent energy bill that includes the applicants’ name, social security cards for everyone in the household, and proof of income from all sources for household members over 18.
If applicants are renting, they need to have a Landlord Affidavit completed. This form is available at PCACS, at the trustee offices in Portage, Chesterton and Hebron, and via PCACS on its Web page, www.portercountyacs.org. Additional documents may be needed for some circumstances and the staff can identify these before the appointment.
“As we have a larger volume of calls, please be patient when our lines are busy. We recommend not waiting on hold but call back in 15 to 20 minutes,” he said. “Our Energy Assistance Program staff consists of many volunteers who help us keep the program running effectively and efficiently.”
Appointments may be scheduled by calling PCACS at (219) 464-9736.
PCACS’ mission is to extend a helping hand to seniors, those who are disabled and low-income residents by providing services to improve their quality of life, including transportation, nutrition programs, energy assistance and activity centers.
For more information, visit www.portercountyacs.org.