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Fuel assistance deadline extended, more money available

There’s still time to get help paying for heating fuel this year, after a low-income energy aid program extended its deadline by two weeks and made more money available.

Peter Wingate, energy director for local anti-poverty agency Community Action, said that the organization can help people pay for fuel used up through April 30. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) usually ends on that day but will extend to May 15.

There’s money available both for people who haven’t applied yet this year and those who already have, said Wingate.

The program has seen about 10 percent fewer applicants across the state, he said. There have been 8.4 percent fewer applications in Franklin County this year and 7.6 percent fewer in Hampshire County.

“There seems to be a perception that funding did not happen or that we do not have resources,” said Wingate.

“We can still pay benefits for fuel used up through April 30,” he said. “If someone has already paid for oil deliveries, we can work with their dealer so they may end up with a credit on their account.”

For more information, call 413-774-2310 or go online to www.communityaction.us to schedule an appointment.

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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