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Berkshire Community Action Council Financial Assistance

Website: http://www.bcacinc.org/services_programs.asp

Pittsfield, MA - 01201

Financial Help Provided: fuel assistance, rent assistance, utility assistance

Full Description:

Provides fuel assistance. Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, rental assistance, utility assistance

Also known as the Fuel Assistance program, provides eligible households with help in paying winter heating bills. The program pays benefits up to a fixed amount based on household income. An additional benefit is available to eligible households having a higher than average energy burden. Homeowners & renters are both eligible. Households with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible.

Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides one-time emergency assistance such as payment of rental arrears for those facing eviction, utility assistance to those in imminent danger of shut-off, or food assistance for those who have no other resources. Also, other emergency situations are eligible for assistance, such as natural disasters. Funds are limited and not always avail­able. Eligibility recipients must prove that their situation is an emergency.

This is maintenance program for heating systems and has a preventative maintenance component as well as emergency “no heat” services. This program not only evaluates the heating system for efficiency, but also cleans tunes and repairs oil or gas heating systems. It also provides replacement of entire heating systems, if needed. Once the work is completed, families are trained to become more energy efficient. Applicants must live in Berkshire County and qualify under the federal Fuel Assistance Program eligibility guidelines.

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Tips For Prompt And Professional Assistance
1. Make an appointment - Always attempt to make an appointment. Oftentimes this will save you hours waiting in lines. When on the phone make sure you ask for the documentation needed in order to receive assistance.

2. Do not be late for your appointment - This tip should speak for itself.

3. Dress appropriately - If you want to be treated with respect, dress as appropriately as possible. We are not saying wear a suit. Just make sure you and your clothes are clean and non offensive. We have found that clients who dress in this manner have a better chance of receiving aid.

4. Bring all pre determined documentation - Bring all of the documents you were advised to bring from your appointment phone call. Without them, you will not receive aid.

Mission Statement
To help the needy find financial aid and assistance. This nation is going through tough times and providing a helping hand can help make the world a better place.