As the frigid Berkshire winter gets closer to bearing down on the county, many local residents are wondering just how they will pay to have their homes heated this season. It's a real problem and one that is likely more worrisome for some, who have had a significant drop in income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

BCAC says there is help available...

The good news is, there is some help for Berkshire County residents that meet financial guidelines. Fuel Assistance, also known as LIHEAP or the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is available to help low-income families pay their heating bills.

Help is available for all heating fuel types...

No matter how you heat your home (oil, natural gas, propane, coal, kerosine, cordwood, or wood pellets), LIHEAP can assist you if you meet eligibility guidelines. Some renters who have heat included in their monthly rent payment may also be eligible.

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This graphic shows the income guidelines...

According to Berkshire Community Action Council, eligibility for fuel assistance is based on the current gross combined annual income of everyone in your household who is 18 or older. Your current gross annual income refers to the income that you are getting in total from all sources including your job, government assistance, pensions, child support, interests on savings, etc., before deductions.

The program, which started on November 1st, runs through April 30th. A toll-free status line is available at 1-866-216-6200.

See the graphic above for the number to call for more information depending on where you live in Berkshire County.

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