Stimulus update: $500 payments will be distributed to Maine citizens next week

Stimulus update: Select Maine residents will receive payments of up to $500 beginning the week of December 12 to assist reduce the pressures caused by rising heating bills.

According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, assistance will be targeted to about 13,000 homes with low-income Mainers aged 65 and older who earn less than 133% of the federal poverty line and receive a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit.

“The payments assist in offsetting the expenses of heating sources such as oil, gas, propane, wood, and electricity, as well as the repair or replacement of necessary heating equipment,” the government stated in its release.

The $6.6 million effort will be funded by state funds meant to improve the health and safety of elderly Maine people who are at a higher risk of getting sick during the winter months due to their financial situation.

This helps supplement energy relief measures implemented as part of Gov. Janet Mills’ Emergency Winter Energy Relief Plan. Residents receiving the most recent round of heating assistance may also be eligible for reimbursement under Mills’ scheme.

The relief also corresponds with a slew of other programs, such as the $800 heating assistance in March, which cost almost $25 million. According to the department, the total value of these payments was around $30 million.

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