Community

ON Financial Assistance offers electric bill assistance for income-eligible residences

The Osage Nation Financial Assistance Department is offering aid for paying electric bills through Aug. 31 available to low-income Native American households within Osage County.

The department’s Energy Assistance Program serves low-income Native American households by providing heating (during winter) and cooling energy assistance from June until Aug. 31, according to the Nation’s website. The program also provides Crisis Assistance during an energy crisis, and preventative maintenance for elders.

During the two-month timeframe, the Energy Assistance Program (formally called LIHEAP) offers cooling assistance, which may be awarded once each fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30) per applicant. The benefit includes payment for an electric bill and this benefit also includes an oscillating box fan and/ or weatherization materials as funding availability permits.

The cooling assistance is available to Native American households (who must provide proof of tribal membership/ CDIB with applications) and have an income below 60 percent of the Oklahoma state median income level, according to the program policy. Income verification for the past 30 days will be required from each adult household member and all applications must be received five days prior to utility bill due date.

Crisis assistance offered through the Energy Assistance Program may be awarded once each fiscal year per crisis-eligible applicant, according to program policy. “This benefit provides either utility assistance or Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) repair/replacement for eligible homeowners, or HVAC system preventative maintenance. Home energy inspections and preventative maintenance are available for homes of elderly clients. The program will provide an intervention that will resolve the energy crisis within 18 to 48 hours. The applicant must have used a regular heating or cooling benefit before applying for the crisis utility benefit,” according to the ON website.

The Nation’s Financial Assistance Department website is at: www.osagenation-nsn.gov/financial-assistance for more information, available services and downloadable assistance forms and policies. The department can also be reached at (918) 287-5325 or toll-free at (888) 822-1248.