COLUMBUS — Self-employed individuals seeking help with utilities through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will find that the guidelines have changed since last year.
“We updated the policies to state that gross income should be used to determine if a self-employed individual is eligible for the program,” said Penny Martin, public information officer for the Ohio Development Services Agency Office of Communication. “We have clarified with the agencies how to calculate income for self-employed individuals.”
According to Martin, self-employed individuals should provide a copy of their filed IRS Form 1040 and the amount listed on line 12 of Form 1040 will be used to determine business income. Non-filing individuals will complete a Self-Employment Income and Expense Form and submit an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter.
Anyone interested in receiving assistance should apply. Eligibility is determined after an application and documentation is reviewed. Self-employed individuals are eligible for the HEAP or the PIPP winter crisis program — which begin Nov. 1 — if they meet the income guidelines.
“Until an individual applies and an application is reviewed, they won’t know if they’re eligible for the program. We encourage all Ohioans interested in receiving assistance to apply,” Martin said. “If they have questions about their determination, we would be happy to review it with them.”
Applications can be made one of three ways: online at energyhelp.ohio.gov; by mail; or in person at a local Community Action Agency.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3341