BRAD Assistance Available
Black River Area Development Corporation (BRAD) has announced the Winter Regular Assistance effort will start accepting applications on Monday Jan. 7, 2019. The program offers a limited one-time payment to eligible applicants’ home energy supplier to assist with their home heating cost. Residents of Clay, Lawrence and Randolph Counties may apply, but must apply for energy assistance at the BRAD Agency in their county of residents. If applications from other counties are mailed directly to the Pocahontas Office from Clay and Lawrence counties it slows down the process of determining eligibility due to the fact the applications will be sent to the county in which the applicant lives. This is not an emergency assistance program.
Applications were mailed Dec. 11, to households who were pre-determined by the State of Arkansas Human Services Food Stamp Program to be elderly and\or disabled. Those applications should be completed, signed and returned to the agency in the envelope provided with the application as soon as the application is received—these individual do not have to wait until Jan. 7, to return the application.
The three criteria necessary to determine eligibility for regular assistance determined by the State of Arkansas Department of Human Services include-residency, the applicant must apply for assistance in the county where they live; income, a household’s income cannot exceed the income guideline established by the State of Arkansas, and resources-which excluding their home or car, cannot exceed the guidelines for household resources.
New this year, applicants must provide both electric and gas bills for the applicant’s household and the annual fuel cost for the previous 12 months prior to the date of application.
Verification of identity for the person making application must be verified at the time of application. The identity of the head of household must also be verified, such as driver’s license, birth certificate and or paychecks containing the name of the person.
If determined eligible for assistance, the agency has 35 days from the date of application to process and make payment to the home energy supplier. Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2019, or until it appears fund are depleted.
Under the program, all applicants must provide proof of income for everyone who is 18 years of age and older residing in the home to determine eligibility. The income must be for the month prior to application, and as an example if an applicant applies for assistance in January 2019 the income for December 2018 must be provided at the time of application. Persons employed must provide all check stubs for the month prior to application, and eligibility cannot be established until all income documentation has been received.
For residents of Clay, Randolph and Lawrence counties, effective on Jan. 16, the days of operation for accepting applications for the Winter Regular Home Energy Assistance are Mondays and Tuesdays. The applications will be accepted from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon, and from 1 to 3:30 p.m., on Mondays and Tuesdays only until further notice.
All Clay County residents must apply at the Corning office, located at 1403 Main Street in Corning. Those wanting additional information in Clay County may call the Corning office at 870 857-8054. BRAD officials also noted all of their offices will be closed on Tuesday, Jan 1, and on Monday, Jan 21, in observance of holidays.