December 4 - The Cherokee Nation began its application period for LIHEAP for eligible Cherokees and other Native Americans on December 1.
“In past years we have been able to assist approximately 1,700 applicants through the Cherokee Nation LIHEAP program,” said Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation in a media release.
This year, the Cherokee Nation received additional funding for the program, allowing for an increase in the income for people eligible for assistance. Income eligibility levels are based on income, plus the number of persons residing in the home. According to the release, income eligibility this year cannot exceed 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines (FPG), compared to the 110 percent of FPG in prior years. For example, a household of two can’t have combined incomes totaling more than $1,821 per month, or $21,855 per year. And, a household of four cannot have combined incomes of more than $2,756 per month or $33,075 per year.
“We are excited about this year’s program, and are happy we will be able to assist more of our citizens with increased funds,” said Jerry Snell, Cherokee Nation director of Family Assistance.
LIHEAP payments are also provided by other area agencies; however, a household can only legally receive services through one agency.
To be eligible, a person must reside with the tribal jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation, have a citizenship card from a federally-recognized tribe, show proof of income for the previous 12 months, show proof of residency and provide energy vendor information. Payments will be made to the vendor in recipient’s name. Priority will be given to elders and families with children under the age of 5. Applications will be accepted from Dec. 1 through Jan. 4. Applications for crisis situations will be accepted beginning Jan. 5.
Source: Cherokee Nation, Muscogee Phoenix