Gather documents, proof of income, apply for programs, keep originals, IRS tax transcript, check back often, call 2-1-1 helpline.
When applying for utility assistance programs, it is important to have all the necessary documents and information ready before you start the application process. This includes copies of past-due utility bills, photo ID, Social Security cards, Medicaid cards, Ohio Works First SNAP printouts, proof of income, proof of citizenship, proof of disability, and proof of application for other programs. Additionally, you can call United Way’s 211 helpline or chat with a navigator online for the most up-to-date information on available programs or help with the process.
Having all the necessary documents and information ready is essential for a successful application. This includes copies of past-due utility bills or disconnection notices, photo ID, Social Security cards, Medicaid cards, and Ohio Works First SNAP printouts. Proof of one month of income for everybody 18 or older in the household is also required, as well as proof of citizenship or legal residency. In some cases, proof of disability or health issue such as a note from your doctor or counselor is also needed.
For those with no income, you’ll be asked for an IRS tax transcript. If you filed a tax return, or even if you did not, you can go to https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript to get your transcript. If you need copies of birth certificates, you can obtain them by calling the Cleveland Department of Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics at (866) 691-1914.
Local nonprofits that take applications for the federal utility assistance often require you to make an appointment. Step Forward and CHN Housing Partners in Cleveland have limited time slots for appointments, which are often virtual or over the phone. Check in the morning or several times throughout the day.
For the most up-to-date information on available programs or help with the application process, call United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline or chat with a navigator online. It is important to have all the necessary documents and information ready before you start the application process in order to have the best chance of success. Keep in mind that only U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or immigrants with a qualified alien (immigrant) status are eligible for most of these programs. The 2022 federal poverty guideline annual income reference can also be used as a reference.