Utility Bill Assistance
- Are you having difficultly affording safe utility service? There are a number of programs that may be available to help. Depending on where you live, how many people are in your household and how much money you make, you may be eligible for assistance. Contact your utility company for additional information on the specific programs they have available.
Bill Assistance Programs
Ohio State Government Assistance Programs
Here is a list of state bill assistance programs. Municipal government or non-profit organizations may also offer bill assistance options.
- The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is responsible for developing and supervising the state’s public assistance, workforce development, unemployment compensation, child and adult protective services, adoption, child care and child support programs. ODJFS also is the single state agency responsible for the administration of Ohio’s Medicaid program.
- Ohio’s “Best Rx” is a prescription drug discount card program designed to lower the cost of prescriptions for Ohio residents without prescription drug insurance coverage who are: 60 years of age or over OR under age 60 with annual family incomes of less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level which is $32,670 (single), $44,130 (family of two), $67,050(family of four).
- Healthy Families is a Medicaid program available to Families with income up to 90% of the federal poverty level. (Families must include a child younger than age 19).
- Healthy Start (also called SCHIP) is a Medicaid program available to Children (younger than age 19) in families with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level and pregnant women in families with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level.
- Dental OPTIONS (Ohio Partnership To Improve Oral health through access to Needed Services) is a program offered by the Ohio Department of Health in partnership with the Ohio Dental Association. The mission of OPTIONS is to assist Ohioans with special health care needs and/or financial barriers to obtain dental care. OPTIONS patients are primarily adults; many are the “working poor” or elderly living on a fixed income. Eligible patients are matched with volunteer OPTIONS dentists who have agreed to reduce fees.
- Cash Assistance is time limited cash assistance given to families in times of need.
- In Ohio, cash assistance is only available for 36 consecutive months and there are work requirements attached to it.
- One could be eligible for Cash Assistance if you are a low income family (as defined by the government).
- To qualify for cash assistance, you must: have a minor child who lives with you, or you must be a pregnant woman and income amounts change frequently. For example, a family of 4 can have a take home income of $861 a month and still qualify for cash assistance. The maximum monthly amount for a family of four is $507.
- Ohio has 90 local One-Stop offices designed to assist job seekers, employers and youth with a wide range of workforce-related services. Every One-Stop office offers job search assistance, employee recruitment, job training, and much, much more.
- It is an extended payment arrangement that requires regulated gas and electric companies to accept payments based on a percentage of the household income.
- Under PIPP Plus, if using gas, one can pay 6 percent of monthly household income to gas company/supplier and 6 percent to electric company. If using electricity, only 10 percent of the monthly household income will be the bill. The Community Action Agency or utility company will inform the customer of the PIPP Plus installment. Once enrolled in the program, installment must be paid every month in full and on time.
- Allows most households that have been disconnected or are threatened with disconnection due to non-payment of a utility bill to have service restored during the winter months by paying the total amount they owe or $175, whichever is less, plus a reconnection fee of no more than $20. Consumers can use the winter reconnect program through April 15. There is no income eligibility requirement for the winter reconnect program. Income-eligible households can use Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (E-HEAP) funds for the $175 payment. Consumers can apply for the winter reconnect program in person at a local community action agency or by calling their utility company.
- The HeatShare programs are programs administered by the Salvation Army to help qualifying households pay for natural gas bills. These programs typically run from January until May, or until funds are depleted.