Crisis Assistance Requests on the Rise in Minnesota

April 19, 2018 – Minnesota’s Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership reports that this year’s long winter, as well as an increase in propane prices, has led to an increase in crisis assistance requests.

Janice Renner, Energy Assistance Coordinator for Mahube-Otwa, said it’s not too late for people to apply for help and that crisis funds may be applied for once the primary heat grant has been used up.

"Last year, crisis households served as of April 16 were 1,483 and this year it is 2,100. Let's say you received a $1,400 grant and it went all to your propane vendor and now it's April and all of your monies have been spent. If you're at less than 20 percent (of a full tank), you could call and request additional assistance. Also, if you get a disconnect notice as long as there are funds available you could request additional funding," said Renner.

Another benefit that applicants may qualify for is furnace repair and replacement. Renner says many people are not aware of this benefit. This year, furnace assistance numbers are also on the rise. Last year, 301 households received this assistance at a cost of $152,000 and this year 353 households have been assisted at a cost of $218,000.

"It's a federal program designed to help the lowest income residents with the highest energy burden. It's not too late to apply, but I would encourage people to apply right away. The deadline is May 31, but we don't know how long the funding is going to last," said Renner.

To learn more about crisis assistance in your state, check out the LIHEAP Clearinghouse website.

Source: media reports