Resources to help those in need of Fuel Assistance
Stay Warm this Winter!
- By Ida Russin
‘Tis the season – for heating, that is. I was astonished to see that my home’s first fall delivery of fuel totaled more than $800. It is going to be a difficult year for those of us on tight budgets to keep up with the price of heating and utilities. I thought it might be worth highlighting some ways that you can keep your family warm, should you run into difficulties.
Seasonal Fuel Assistance (SFA) is managed in Vermont by the Office of Home Heating Fuel Assistance. You must complete an application to see if you are eligible.
Crisis Fuel Assistance (CFA) is managed by your local Community Action Agency. You must complete an application for Seasonal Fuel Assistance, if you are applying for Crisis Fuel Assistance.
Links to both of these resources can be found at http://dcf.vermont.gov/esd/fuel_assistance
Staff Emergency Loan Fund (SELF) is managed by the Staff Council office. It offers small, no interest, short-term loans for emergencies when you have depleted all other resources. Find information about this program at http://www.uvm.edu/~stffcncl/?Page=self.html
The median income for an Office Support Program Assistant at UVM is approximately $2487 per month. Under Vermont’s published gross monthly income guidelines for 2012-13, you could qualify for fuel assistance at that level of income for a family of 2 or more. So, if you’re unsure if you might qualify, check your monthly gross income here: http://dcf.vermont.gov/sites/dcf/files/pdf/esd/fuel/INCOME_GUIDELINES_12-13.pdf
Safety must be your priority. The National Fire Protection Association indicates on their website that in 2010, heating equipment was involved in more than 57,000 home structure fires. Please follow guidelines carefully for your heating devices, and always be attentive to them. Checking to make sure that your carbon monoxide detector works properly is always a good idea as we enter a heating season as well. So be sure to reach out to the resources that may be available to you, and have a safe, warm season.
Immediate Past President of Staff Council