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Utility assistance available for families in need

Utility assistance
Posted at 6:51 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 18:51:54-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Utility assistance programs are still available for families who need help paying their bills this winter season.

Many families said their bills seem higher than before, and they’re becoming tougher to pay due to the economic impacts of the pandemic.

One Indianapolis homeowner says her last bill from Indianapolis Power and Light was more than $500.

“I’ve had to take some COVID-19 relief on my mortgage just to pay my utilities this year,” Denise Trimble said.

Trimble said she usually relies on utility assistance programs during the winter, but this year she hasn’t received any help paying her utility bills.

“I do not understand why this year it has been such a problem,” Trimble said.

Trimble said she applied for assistance at a local community center, but never heard back about the status of her application.

“All you have to do is communicate so some of us can understand what it is we need to do to get help and where we can get help assistance,” Trimble said.

Trimble and others in her situation still have options.

The Marion County Energy Assistance Program is still accepting applications. You can apply online, over the phone or drop a paper application off in person.

This is part of a federal program and it does have an income limit.

Families who make more than the amount listed here can get assistance through the United Way’s Winter Assistance Fund.

“It is something that really helps the household to be able to afford to pay their other bills, rent, food, and medication,” said Mary Jones, senior director of basic needs at the United Way of Central Indiana.

That program is still accepting applications as well.

While it is still unclear what happened to Trimble’s original application, she can take comfort knowing there are still funds available through programs like this.

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