New rules keeping Mainers coldDecember 09,2013AUGUSTA, Maine — A new mandate that requires applicants for federal fuel assistance to show their Social Security cards is delaying aid to those who need it, Maine advocates say.
Kennebec Valley Community Action has received about 6,800 applications for heating help, according to Kelly LaChance, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program manager for the group.
About 4,000 clients have been paid but some have been denied access because of the new requirements aimed at preventing fraud, she said.
“The biggest holdup this year is everybody has to bring in a Social Security card,” LaChance told a gathering of the Emergency Heating Assistance Group, made up of about a dozen people representing nonprofits, municipalities, social service agencies, and an oil dealer.
LaChance said some people only have photocopies of their Social Security cards, others don’t have them or haven’t had a card in years, according to the Kennebec Journal .
“It’s a hardship,” she said.
The Social Security Administration is backed up in processing requests for cards but can issue an official “snapshot” of the card, which will be accepted for heating assistance, she said.
Maine is expected to receive about $37.5 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds this year.MORE IN News
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: No money this year for western rail project, Lola Aiken memorialized in Montpelier, Supreme Court Castleton murder suspect will remain in jail, Shaftbury man fires shots from his AK-47 into neighbor's home.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev arrives in U.S. for historic 13-day visit; in 1987, Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze sign nuclear reduction agreement.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City celebrates completion of its newest mural, on West Street opposite the post office, more than $2 million in federal grants will bolster Vermont's health centers, Patrick McArdle reports on pending sale of Vermont papers.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River as far as present-day Albany, Leo Szilard has epiphany waiting for the light to change, 3 kids report a West Virginia close encounter in 1952.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Who will run for mayor in Rutland next year? Has Bennington overcome its fear of twerking? Documentary 'Hungry Heart' packs the Paramount, and the city's Creek Path scores another million-plus dollars.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: The 1509 'Lesser Judgment' earthquake on this day at Constantinople kills 13,000 and destroys the city; in 1801, on this day, Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans is born.