Step Forward’s HEAP Winter Crisis Program Begins November 1, 2021

The Winter Crisis Program helps eligible Greater Cleveland residents that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected, or have less than a 25 percent supply of bulk fuel in their tank maintain their utility service. This is a one-time benefit and is to be used in emergency situations when residents are faced with disconnection.


Last year, more than 1,900 households were assisted through the winter crisis program.


Eligible households can receive up to $175 if they are a client of a regulated utility, or $750 if they are a client of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to their utility bill or applied to heating system repair costs. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance.


To apply for the program, clients are required to schedule an appointment. For appointment scheduling call, (216) 350-8008 or visit https://stepforward.itfrontdesk.com. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Customers with scheduled appointments should submit their documentation at least 3 days in advance of their appointment receive assistance at the time of appointment.


Clients need to bring copies of the following documents to their appointment:


  • Copies of most recent energy bills; utility bills (gas and/or electric), regardless of account status.

  • A list of all household members and proof of income for the last 30 days or 12 months for each member.

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency for all household members.

  • Proof of disability (if applicable).

  • Birth Dates and Social Security Numbers for all household members.


To find a list of required documentation, or to learn more about Step Forward's energy assistance programs, please visit https://www.stepforwardtoday.org/energy-assistance-programs.


For more information about the features of the Winter Crisis Program, call (216) 350-8008. To be connected to your local Energy Assistance provider, call (800) 282-0880 (hearing impaired clients may dial 711 for assistance), or visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov.


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