Omaha World Herald, July 21, 2008: Help with electric bills available for eastern Nebraska residents

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With electric bills increasing with the summer heat and humidity, the American Red Cross, in partnership with the Omaha Public Power District, will help disadvantaged and elderly eastern Nebraska residents pay electric bills through its Energy Assistance Program.

To qualify for assistance, an applicant۪s gross monthly income must meet or be near the current federal poverty guidelines. Priority is given but not limited to those age 62 or older, have a serious medical condition or a recent unexpected financial crisis such as the replacement of a major appliance or car, or sudden loss of employment.

The Heartland Chapter also will distribute fans to those who meet emergency-assistance guidelines. The fans are donated by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The program, which runs through Dec. 31, is available in 13 Nebraska counties including Douglas, Saunders, Sarpy, Dodge, Colfax, Burt, Washington, Cass, Otoe, Johnson, Nemaha, Pawnee and Richardson.

To be considered for assistance, applicants must schedule an appointment with the Chapter’s Emergency Services Department by calling 343-7755 or (888) 890-9569. The program accepts one request per family per year. In 2007, the program provided $235,425 in utility assistance to 907 households.

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