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3/28/2013

You are receiving Sharing Neighborhoods as a registered subscriber. Sharing Neighborhoods is a publication of New Jersey SHARES, on the web at www.NJSHARES.org.

What's New

Support LIHEAP Funding

We are passing on a message to support Federal Funding for the LIHEAP program. Please join NJ SHARES in signing on to this letter. http://nffnliheap.aga.org/form/.

The National Fuel Funds Network encourages your organization to support the 2014 All Parties Letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Appropriations Committees asking for $4.7 billion for the Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help protect vulnerable households from America's cold winters and hot summers. Please click on the link below and sign on to support LIHEAP Funding. Visit http://www.nationalfuelfunds.org for more information.

Winter Termination Program Ended March 15, 2013

Individuals and families who are unable to make payments to their utilities could experience an interruption of service as the consumer protection period ends. The New Jersey Winter Termination Program – which aims to protect low to moderate income households from interruption of utility service due to the inability to afford energy during the coldest time of year (from mid-November through mid-March) – ended on March 15. The energy assistance programs in the state will see a spike in inquiries and applications during this time. The ability to aid these households is dependent on the amount of resources available.


Social Security Published Helpful Guides

Social Security published Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to inform beneficiaries, potential beneficiaries, advocates and other interested agencies and organizations about SSI eligibility requirements and processes. The guide will assist people, apply, establish eligibility and continue to receive SSI for as long as they remain eligible. To learn more visit: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm

You may also access this information in Spanish, ""Comprendiendo Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario". http://www.socialsecurity.gov/espanol/comprendiendoSSI/

If you have any questions while using Understanding SSI guide, please contact your local Social Security office, or call our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213.

Another helpful guide is the 2013 Red Book, which is a guide to Employment Support for Individuals with Disabilities. For the Red Book visit: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/redbook/index.html

president's letter


Jim Jacob, President & CEO

As winter draws to a close, so does the Winter Termination Program (WTP), an important safeguard protecting many New Jersey residents from having their utility service interrupted or turned-off during the coldest winter months. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ WTP runs from November 15 through March 15 and shields customers receiving public benefits from having their gas or electric service discontinued as long as they are making good faith payments, if they are able.

For New Jersey residents who are losing their WTP benefits and are still struggling with large heating bills, there are other programs that are available to help. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal energy assistance program, was designed to help low-income families and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs and is available through April 30.

In addition, New Jersey’s Universal Service Fund (USF), administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, helps lower gas and electricity costs for eligible households and is available throughout the year. Those applying for LIHEAP assistance automatically have their application submitted to the USF.

Those who are not eligible for LIHEAP or USF but are unable to pay their utility bills due to circumstances beyond their control - such as unemployment, illness, medical expenses or other financial hardship - may be eligible for assistance through NJ SHARES. We encourage those facing financial crisis to contact us. In addition to providing grants, we are able to connect low and moderate income households with important resources available to them offering education, information, referral and advocacy support.

For more information on LIHEAP and USF visit:

http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/hea.html

http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/programs/#nbr4



Agency Spotlight


A few of our partners at DAWN: Seated - Marc Molde. From left to right: Carl Brand, Sara Fuentes, Carolee Marano.

NJ SHARES is fortunate to partner with more than 270 agencies around the state. Each organization has a different mission and focus but all provide holistic solutions to their community. This month we want to talk about the Centers for Independent Living.

The Centers for Independent Living emerged as an outcome of advocacy efforts around the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement which led to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. There are 11 Independent Living Centers serving all 21 counties in New Jersey and 9 of them partner with NJ SHARES to bring our energy and utility assistance programs to their clients.

DAWN is one of the 11 Independent Living Centers and currently serves over 800 people in Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties in New Jersey. “DAWN Center for Independent Living is proud to partner with NJ SHARES to bring energy, telephone and water assistance to the individuals we serve,” said Carmela Slivinski, executive director for DAWN.

All of DAWN’s programs and services embody the principles of the Independent Living philosophy, which asserts that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, choices, and control as do people without disabilities, and DAWN is dedicated to its legacy and commitment as a CIL in advancing the Independent Living Movement. For more information on DAWN, vist: http://dawncil.org/.

Events

NJ SHARES Presents at PSE&G Energy Workshops

NJ SHARES spoke about resources available for energy, telephone and water assistance at PSE&G’s Energy Assistance conferences this month. Six conferences gathered hundreds of social service professionals in Edison, Paterson, Lawrenceville, Jersey City, Newark, and Camden. The forum brought information on a variety of programs that offer solutions to households in crisis.

New Jersey SHARES | www.njshares.org
1901 North Olden Avenue Extention Suite 1-A | Ewing, NJ 08618-2111
Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email info@njshares.org
Copyright 2013, NJ SHARES.
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New Jersey SHARES
1901 North Olden Avenue Extension, Suite 1A | Ewing, NJ 08618
Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email info@njshares.org
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