RUTHERFORD COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – Rutherford County Department of Social Services officials said they are now accepting applications for the Crisis Intervention Program.
According to a news release, the Crisis Intervention Program is a federally funded program that helps eligible households that are in an immediate or life-threatening heating or cooling related crisis.
Officials said heating assistance includes electricity, wood, coal, fuel, oil, kerosene or gas.
To avoid having people come to the DSS office during the pandemic, households can apply for assistance by telephone by calling Energy Line at 828-287-1248 and a telephonic signature will be used while applying.
“Due to higher than normal call volumes during this time, consumers may be prompted to leave a message,” according to the release. “Calls will be returned within 24 hours to begin the application process.”
According to the release, an interactive application can be completed on the DSS website and printed, or you can print out the application and complete the application by hand.
Applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access the online information and application, visit www.rutherfordcountync.gov, and click departments and select Social Services. You’ll then click on the link at the top of the home page and scroll down on this page to find information on CIP.
Applications are also available for pick-up at DSS, or you can request to have one mailed to you by calling Energy Line at 828-287-1248.
According to the release, anyone wanting to drop off an application in-person, there is a drop box available 24 hours a day at the entrance of the DSS lobby at the lower level of building C.
“Applicants should have a past due notice from the vendor of their heating source or have 10% or less gas in their tank, or 15 inches or less of fuel oil or kerosene, or have a limited supply of wood or kerosene for portable heaters. Benefits may vary based upon the amount needed to alleviate the crisis. An eligible household may receive assistance more than one time during the State Fiscal Year (July through June); however, the maximum benefit cannot exceed $600 per fiscal year. To qualify households must have income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty level, contain a US Citizen or eligible alien, and must be in a heating or cooling related crisis.
All Household income must be verified by pay stubs or some other means through an employer. If a person is receiving other services administered by the Department of Social Services where income was verified that can be used in some cases. However, applicants may need to provide verification of at least one-month’s income. This will help ensure that applications are processed as quickly as possible.”
For more information about CIP, or to apply, call the Energy Department at 828-287-1248.