With the temperatures still soaring, Erath County residents are eligible for utility assistance yet again.

Texas Neighborhood Services (TNS) is offering utility assistance to folks struggling to make their electricity or natural gas payments.

The funding, which comes from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Services, falls into four categories: Crisis, Elderly/Disabled, Co-Pay and Heat and Cool. Each of these categories have basic requirements including an application and eligibility requirements. Applications must be filled out in advance, while documentation must be provided by the applicant. Original documents required for processing are:

• Identification of the person applying (i.e. social security card, drivers license or birth certificate

• Social security card for all household members

• Birth dates for all household members

• Proof of earned income or wages for the past 30 days (i.e. paycheck stub, copy of letter from employer) for all household members 18 years or older

• Proof of expense causing loss of income (i.e. TANF, social security and SSI, veterans affairs benefits, unemployment, pensions) for all household members 18 years or older

• Name, address and telephone number of landlord, if renting

• Current utility bills or statements with account numbers

All of the above documents are required and the application cannot be processed without them. Qualifying citizens fall into the four categories. Those citizens in the “crisis” category have a disconnect notice in hand and must pay any fees or deposits before assistance is received. Elderly or disabled citizens qualify for assistance if someone in the household is over 60 years old or if someone is at least 18 years old and disabled. A co-pay system is in place for those who are unemployed or underemployed. Utility assistance is available each month while these citizens look for a job. Proof of job searching is required, however, and can be maintained by a specific number of job searches per week, registration in Work In Texas and monthly meetings with a case manager. Residents who meet eligibility requirements may also be able to retrofit their homes for more efficient heating and cooling, up to $4,000.

TNS will be at the Texas Department of Health Services office on Aug. 12 and Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both dates.

Residents with questions about the program can call Monica with TNS at (817) 598-5700 ext. 2216.