Utility Assistance and Emergency COVID-19 Assistance

Regular utility assistance and emergency COVID-19 related assistance are available through SELF. Our offices will be open to the public soon. In the meantime, learn about emergency resources here.

Energy Assistance (HEAP)

SELF’s Winter Crisis Program begins November 1, 2022. To apply for HEAP, PIPP, or Summer Crisis, schedule an appointment by calling 513-868-9300, Option 1 for Utility Assistance or visit self.itfrontdesk.com.

Emergency Rent/Utility Assistance

SELF is not accepting applications for COVID-related Emergency Rent assistance as of 12/19/2022 at 5:00 pm. This decision was made due to the large volume of applications that have been received.

What are my options for rent assistance?

You may apply for help through the State of Ohio HERE.

Basic Instructions on the State Portal for Submitting Applications for Assistance

  • Prior to starting your application, create the following files which will be uploaded:

**all documents must be able to be read

Photo Identification     

Social Security Cards for All household members (if unavailable you

Can use an official document listing the number such as an old tax form and a birth certificate)

Income for all household members over age 18 for the last 30 days, or award letter.

Copy of your utility bill, if applying for utility assistance

  • Landlord Information: you will need your landlord’s name, address, phone number. You will also need the rent amount owed, which months are owed and any fees that are owed. You can apply for up to 3 months ahead for assistance. It is important that you know what months are owed.
  • To start your application scroll past the section stating to contact your local community action agency to the part labeled “Apply On-Line.”
  • On the opening page, there is a section that allows you to create an account. You will need to create a 15-character password.
  • You will be applying for assistance for the Home Relief Grant.
  • You will be asked to provide information about your family members.
  • For the rental section, you will need to add a zero for months you are not asking for assistance for.
  • You may see a screen stating that you are ineligible for HEAP, do not let that stop you from completing the application. The HEAP income eligibility is lower than the home relief grant.
  • The Opening Page also lists a phone number and email if you need additional assistance. The staff at SELF are unable to offer any additional assistance.
  • Once submitted, these applications can take up to 30 days to be completed.

Help Line: 1-800-282-0880

Frequently Asked Questions – Applying for Emergency Assistance for Rent and Utilities

  • How long before I receive a call from SELF?
    • Because of our waitlist, a SELF staff person will not be in contact until your application moves from the waitlist to a staff member for processing. Waitlist times depend upon the risk of eviction/disconnection per applicant, as well as the length of the waitlist.
  • How long does it take to process the application?
    • It depends. Applicants need to ensure they have included ALL of the documents requested by their case worker. Once all the documents are provided it will be given to administrative staff for final approval. Once approved, a check will be forwarded in 2-3 weeks.
  • If I have applied previously, can I apply again and do I have to submit new documents?
    • Yes, you can apply again. You will have to provide new documents because your previous documents were shredded to protect your confidentiality.
    • You may only receive 18 months total assistance. After that, you will no longer be eligible.
    • If you applied and your application was closed, you must wait 30 days from the date your application was closed to apply again.
  • How long do I have to provide missing documents?
    • You have five (5) days to provide ALL the documents needed to apply.
  • What happens if my landlord does not want to provide information?
    • SELF will contact the landlord to provide information about the availability of the program.
  • Can I get assistance if I am not behind on my bills?
    • Applicants must be behind on bills to receive assistance.
  • Can you assist with fees and court costs?
    • We may be able to assist with late fees or court costs. We can not assist with attorney fees.
  • Can you assist with utility bills?
    • Yes, SELF can assist with utility bills. We require copies of each monthly bill that is past due.
  • Do I have to have social security cards for all members of my family?
    • Yes, SELF needs verification of these numbers for all US Citizens. If you do not have social security cards for adults, you can use a voter registration card that lists that number and a birth certificate. You may also use a previous year’s tax return form, with the number listed and a birth certificate. For children, if they are school age, the school should have a copy of their social security card.
  • Can I receive assistance if I’m not a US Citizen?
    • Yes, if you have provided all the documents needed to determine eligibility for assistance.
  • What income information is needed?
    • SELF requires income for the last 90 days for ALL adults residing in the home.
  • What do I need to provide that shows I have been impacted by COVID?
    • We will need all available documents to support how you have been impacted by COVID. This can include verification of a positive COVID-19 test, layoffs, job loss, etc.

For any questions regarding emergency assistance applications, please contact self at info@selfhelps.org or 513-868-9300. Thank you!

Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF) shall prioritize the completed application packets of households with total household income less than 50% area median income and/or households with one or more members that have been unemployed for at least 90 days. Applications are assigned to an Emergency Services Specialist as soon as possible. The Emergency Services Specialist will review their assigned packets and will prioritize those who appear to meet the prioritization criteria. Applicants are given five days to gather and submit any and all missing documents.

Once an application packet is completed, the Specialist will note the priority status and submit the packet to an Approver for final review before submitting to Finance for payment (s) to be issued.

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