NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Greater East Texas Community Action Program is discovering fewer applicants are seeking energy assistance this year, despite more available money for more eligible applicants.
Energy relief coordinators said changes in the application process make it worthwhile not to wait to the last minute to ask for help.
Teresa Land, GETCAP program coordinator-" We don't really know if they're trying to wait until they get a termination notice before they call and ask for the help, but we would really like for them to access their resources now before the bills get high," said Teresa Land, the GETCAP program coordinator.
Several hundred thousand dollars needs to be shared in Northeast, Deep East and Southeast Texas. People do not have to wait for a late notice before asking for help.
"As long as they qualify based on the income poverty level, and they show a need, we can assist them," Land said.
More than one month of assistance could be available. In addition, Texas raised the income guideline meaning people who were turned down in the past, may now very well qualify.
"They were poor, but they weren't poor enough, so now they're actually qualified, so this is a good thing, and we do have the funding," said Karen Swenson, GETCAP's executive director.
An improved website allows applicants or their caregivers to download applications online. Office visits are available, but no longer necessary.
"And complete this form," Land said. "They can fax it to us, mail it to us or email it to us."
"And to have multiple ways to access assistance is significant in our service area," Swenson said.
Aside from providing the financial assistance, GETCAP wants to avoid health risks. Extreme temperatures with no relief can quickly become a health issue.
The GETCAP website provides a mail-in application. For more information, call 1-800-621-5746.