Utility bills are basic needs that include, water, heating and other forms of energy. Although they’re crucial for survival, many residents like single moms find it increasingly difficult to afford them. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up programs and resources that aim to help the low income population.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Extremely cold weather conditions can turn your home into an uncomfortable place if you don’t have access to efficient heating systems. Consequently, the LIHEAP administers a fuel program designed for low-earning people. To have access to this benefit, you need have an annual salary lower than the poverty line, as well as other requirements as stated on their site. If you fall under the following categories, you may get help from this program:
- You reside in houses provided by assistance programs and your heating bill is included in rent
- You live in your own house or you’re renting
- Your heating bill is part of rent or you’re paying separately
Steps on how to apply can be found here: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/low-income-home-energy-assistance-program-liheap
Green Mountain Power’s Energy Assistance
For Vermonters who earn a salary that is significantly lower than the average income, the Green Mountain Power’s Energy Assistance lends them a hand by supplying energy assistance to help them heat their homes. It’s suitable for any type of heating methods. To qualify you need to firstly be a client of Green Mountain Power. Secondly, your income should be lower than 150% of the poverty line stipulated by the federal government. Once you’ve been selected, you can expect to get:
- 25% of your monthly bill will be deducted
- If you’re a first-time program client, you may be granted forgiveness on previous unpaid bills.
Find out how to apply and other formalities on their site: https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/eap/GMP
Lifeline Telecommunications Program
Lifeline Telecommunications Program strives to relieve the burden of telephone and internet bills on the ones who live off of an annual income lower than the median line. This project includes all the people living in your house, children too. They have several rules, regulations and requirements, read about this here: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/publications-resources/consumers/lifeline
Central Vermont Medical Center Patient Assistance Program
Single moms can get subsidized or free medical care from this program if they meet the following requirements:
- You need to be living in the Vermont area
- The service that you require must be a necessary need (cosmetic services and sterilization are not included)
- Your total household salary should not be higher than 400% than the poverty line stated by the federal government.
Get more information here: https://www.cvmc.org/patients-visitors/patient-financial-services/financial-assistance
The Vermont Food Bank
The Vermont Food Bank is a large organization that works with the community, private businesses and the state to supply meals, commodities and food vouchers to the people who ear low income or are jobless. They help feed thousands of people and all this is achieved with large and small donations from people all over the country. They distribute the food by means of food shelves located in different states, including Wyoming. To find your nearest food shelf, simply visit their site at https://www.vtfoodbank.org/
SEVCA Good Buy Thrift Store
The SEVCA foundation runs a number of programs to combat poverty, homelessness and to alleviate people who earn low salaries. One of their most prominent programs is their thrift store. Low-income people are invited to pick-up clothing items, furniture and other items at extremely affordable prices. Find out how to locate them here: https://www.sevca.org/about-us