You can apply through SEMCO for the program and must, within 14 days, demonstrate having made application for state assistance
You may sign up beginning November 1 by paying a minimum of 1/12th of any past-due amount
If you qualify, you will pay 7% per month of your estimated annual heating bill during the Winter Protection period plus a portion of your arrears
MEDICAL EMERGENCY PROTECTION
If you, or any household member, has a qualifying, documented temporary medical emergency, you may be protected from energy shut off for nonpayment of your bill for up to 21 days. You must provide written proof from your physician or from a public health official that service shut off will aggravate an existing medical condition. Contact SEMCO to request a copy of the form for your physician to complete.
SENIOR PROTECTION PROGRAM
EFFECTIVE DATES: November 1 through March 31
Any customer 65 years or older, regardless of income, who notifies SEMCO of their eligibility, is protected from shut off during the effective dates. At the end of this protection period, the total bill will be required unless arrangements are made to pay the balance in installment payments along with the current bill.
If you are the customer of record with the utility or the spouse of the customer of record with the utility, and have been called to full-time active military service by the President of the United States or the Governor of Michigan during a declared national or state emergency or war, you may apply for protection for up to 90 days. An extension may be requested. Verification of active duty status may be required.
STATE EMERGENCY RELIEF (SER) PROGRAM
CONTACT: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)
You do not have to be a client of MDHHS to apply for help with a past-due bill or a shut off notice through the SER. This program provides most of its utility assistance during the crisis season, November 1 – May 31, however, limited assistance may be available outside of the crisis season. Contact your MDHHS caseworker for information or call the Home Heating Hotline at 1-855-275-6424. Some other community organizations and agencies are trained to help you complete the online application for SER. Find help near you at www.mibenefitsaccess.org.
HOME HEATING CREDIT
CONTACT: Michigan Department of Treasury
EFFECTIVE DATES: January 1 through September 30
You can apply for a Home Heating Credit for the 2016 tax year beginning January 2017. To be eligible, you must meet the income guidelines as shown on the chart below and own or rent your residence (includes rented apartments and mobile homes). Additional benefits may be available if you are 65 or older, deaf, blind, or have another disability. Home Heating Credit claims must be filed before September 30, 2017, with the State of Michigan Treasury.
Please contact SEMCO once you have filed for the Home Heating Credit. Protection is available to allow time for the credit to be issued. Please keep a copy of your form with the number of exemptions claimed and the amount of the credit. You will be required to pay for the natural gas service used during the shut off protection period.