From staff reports
---- — MERRILLVILLE — Enrollment for federal heating bill assistance programs for low-income households begins today. Northern Indiana Public Service Company helps connect customers in need with federal and local assistance programs.
Households experiencing financial difficulties are encouraged to call NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday to learn about available assistance options, including:
• Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Program: LIHEAP support is available to households falling within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Between December 1 and March 15, Indiana natural gas utilities do not disconnect service to customers enrolled in LIHEAP who are behind on their bills.
• NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE) Discount Program: The NIPSCO CARE Discount Program is designed to provide further bill reductions to LIHEAP-eligible customers. Once enrolled in LIHEAP, customers are automatically enrolled in the program.
• NIPSCO Hardship Program: For customers just outside the federal poverty guidelines for LIHEAP, the NIPSCO Hardship Program offers up to $200 in gas bill assistance to households between 151-200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Eligibility information and a listing of agencies that help administer assistance programs can be found at www.NIPSCO.com/PaymentAssistance. Customers are encouraged to contact the agency for a complete list of required documentation ahead of visiting in person.