Deadline extended for Ohio energy assistance

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The long, cold winter has been a drain on the household budgets of many Ohioans.

Nearly 134,000 have received $34 million in help with heating bills through Ohio's Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program. Because of the severity of the winter, the deadline to apply for help has been extended to April 15.

The typical deadline is March 31.

David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, tells The Columbus Dispatch that the extension allows those Ohioans who didn't think they would need the help to apply for it.

Regina Clemons, the program's director of emergency assistance, said the agency is seeing lots of people who had never sought before. She said the agency can usually stop disconnects by enrolling people in one or more energy-assistance program.

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