Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ohio PIPP PLUS and E-HEAP Utility Assistance Programs


There's good news for individuals and families seeking assistance with utility payments in Ohio.  The new PIPP Plus program begins November 1st, along with the Emergency Home Energy Assistance (E-HEAP) or "Winter Crisis Program". 

PIPP Plus replaces the old Percentage of Income Payment Plan program (PIPP), which seeks to provide an affordable payment option for gas and electric service to low-income households.  The new program offers some significant improvements over the old one.  For instance, under the traditional PIPP program, if a consumer owed $100 on their gas or electric bill for the month, they might have to pay only $10 to retain service and avoid a shutoff, but the unpaid $90 balance would accrue as debt with the utility company.  Under the new PIPP Plus program, if the consumer pays their PIPP Plus amount on time, the remainder of the bill is forgiven permanently.  There are also opportunities for households with existing overdue balances to gradually have those balances forgiven if they make their PIPP Plus payments on time each month for a period of months. 

For more information on PIPP Plus programs, click here, or call HEAP toll-free at (800) 282-0880  (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).  To watch a short video on the new PIPP Plus program, click here.

The Winter Crisis (E-HEAP) program "provides assistance once per heating season to eligible households that are disconnected, threatened with disconnection, or have less than a 10-day supply of bulk fuel."  Applications for the Winter Crisis Program will be accepted November 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011. 

For information on the Winter Crisis Program in Ohio, including eligibility requirements, click here or call HEAP toll-free at (800) 282-0880  (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday). 

In order to apply for either or both of these programs, residents must contact their local authorized provider agency.  New applicants must complete some paperwork; returning PIPP applicants must re-verify their income annually.

To locate your local Emergency HEAP/Winter Crisis Program agency in Ohio, click here.

Residents of Summit County should contact Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. at 330-376-7730.

The Regular HEAP Program, which provides a one-time credit on heating bills to eligible individuals, is also  taking applications between  August 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011.  You may download or print an application by clicking here.  Applications are also available at most libraries and other government buildings or by calling your local community action agency.

There are a number of other helpful programs for assistance with home weatherization and furnace repair (HWAP, EPP), energy assistance for senior citizens, and the Winter Reconnect Order through the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.  For more information on the programs mentioned in this post as well as other programs, visit this excellent website:  Ohio Winter Heating Resource Center.

Source:  Ohio Department of Development and

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Children's Mental Health Week

The Coalition for Children's Mental Health celebrates Children's Mental Health Week from October 17-23, 2010 in Hudson, Ohio.
2010 Theme: Celebrate Our Differences

Children's Poster Contest: Open to Hudson students in grades 4-12
Community Heroes Awards Banquet: Thursday, October 21, 6:30pm at Clarion Inn, Hudson.

For more information on children's mental health, including local services, visit:

ADM Board Service Directory

Akron Children's Hospital KidsHealth Library

Blick Clinic

Child Guidance & Family Solutions

Greenleaf Family Center

For further information or questions about local services, please contact us at 330-650-4048 ext. 463.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Summit County Community Legal Clinic

Friday, October 22 - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 8:30am - 4:30pm

Join Legal Aid and community partners at this National Pro Bono Week 2010 event! Legal Aid volunteers and staff will offer advice and counsel to our neighbors, and vendors will have information about available local services.

Where: The Job Center • 1040 East Tallmadge Avenue • Akron, OH

When: No need to register! Drop by anytime. You don't need to call ahead.

Questions? Call 330-983-2695 or 877-401-0088

Source: Community Legal Aid

Monday, October 4, 2010

What is Community Legal Aid?

Community Legal Aid is a non-profit law firm which:

•Specializes in poverty law and is devoted to providing free, high-quality civil legal services to eligible clients.
•Is dedicated to providing legal advice, information and representation as assistance for those seeking to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.
•Provides information about laws and the legal system to those who work with the poor and elderly so that they may better serve their clients.
•Is a non-profit corporation governed by local lawyers, members of the client community and others concerned about equal access to justice.
They handle a variety of different cases, including consumer rights, family, housing, foreclosure, health, education, public benefits, wills, probate and taxes.  They do not handle criminal cases.

Our local office serves clients from the following counties:  Columbiana, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne.

For assistance, call the Legal Aid HelpLine at 1-800-998-9454, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, or apply for help online.

Worried About Losing Your Home? Get free legal advice from Community Legal Aid before a foreclosure is filed. Call Becky Walters at 330.983.2532 or 866.584.2350 x 2532.

To view a calender of upcoming free legal clinics for low income citizens, click here.

Visit their extensive online legal self-help library by clicking here.

Community Legal Aid also provides free community education programs for groups.  For information on their speaker's bureau, click here.  A list of presentation topics can be found here.

For additional information on legal self-help, or to locate the Ohio Legal Aid office nearest you, click here.