LESSER KNOWN

LOW-INCOME ENERGY PROGRAMS
1) LOW-INCOME RATE ASSISTANCE

  • Lifeline Assistance Program
    Funded from the New Jersey general fund, Lifeline provides a credit on electric or natural gas bills of $225 per year to disabled and senior homeowners and tenants. Beneficiaries of Medical Assistance to the Aged, Medical Assistance Only, or New Jersey Care, are sent Lifeline applications automatically every August. Supplemental Security Income recipients receive Lifeline automatically. Eligibility: must meet income eligibility guidelines and be 65 years or older or at least 18 years of age and receiving Social Security Disability benefits.
    1-800-792-9745.

  • Universal Service Fund
    In June 2004, New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved funding for the state’s 2004-2005 Universal Service Fund (USF) low-income energy assistance program, which began in October 2003. The USF will fund a fixed credit percentage of income payment plan under which participants will be required to pay no more than six percent of their annual income toward electric and gas bills. New Jersey electric and gas customers whose household income is equal to or less than 175 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the program.
    1-866-240-1347

  • Fresh Start
    In March 2004, the BPU approved establishment of an arrearage payment plan, called Fresh Start, for USF enrollees. The program allows these enrollees a chance to have their past due bills forgiven if they start paying their monthly bills in full and do so for an entire year.
    1-866-240-1347
    Website

2) LOW-INCOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY

  • New Jersey Comfort Partners
    A residential low-income program provided by PSE&G, Jersey Central Power & Light, Atlantic City Electric (Conectiv), Rockland Electric Company, New Jersey Natural Gas, Elizabethtown Gas and South Jersey Gas through the Societal Benefits Charge created under New Jersey's restructuring legislation. Energy efficiency measures include: efficient lighting products, hot water conservation measures, refrigerator replacement, programmable thermostats, insulation upgrades, air sealing, duct sealing and repair, and heating/cooling equipment maintenance, repair and/or replacement. Energy education and counseling and arrearage forgiveness for participants who agree to payment plans are included. Eligibility: Income at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines or customers who receive Lifeline, LIHEAP, TANF, SSI, and PAAD, General Welfare Assistance, and Section 8 Housing Assistance.
    Website


  • Contacts
    Public Service Electric & Gas 1-888-773-8326
    Jersey Central Power& Light 1-866-240-1347
    Atlantic City Electric (Conectiv Power) 1-800-280-0254
    Rockland Electric 1-800-231-0427
    Elizabethtown Gas 1-888-773-8326
    NJ Natural Gas 1-800-221-0051
    South Jersey Gas 1-800-648-0138

EMERGENCY CHARITABLE ASSISTANCE
Note: These charitable funds are last resort emergency funds with limited resources and limited times of operation.
  • New Jersey SHARES: (Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services) A statewide, year-round independent energy fund for individuals and families living in New Jersey who are in need of temporary help in paying their energy bills. Eligibility: Non-welfare recipient energy customers, who are experiencing a financial crisis, have exhausted all other available sources of assistance and have demonstrated a good faith effort to pay their energy bills.
    1-866-NJ SHARE (1-866-657-4273)

  • New Jersey Natural Gas Gift of Warmth: Provides natural gas cost assistance to low-income customers and those in temporary financial distress. NJNG customers can check with their local CAAs for information on eligibility for this fuel fund. The United Way through local Community Action Program (CAP) agencies administers this program.
    Middlesex County - 732-828-4541
    Monmouth County - 732-502-8855
    or 732-775-4442
    Morris County - Organization for Hispanic Affairs, Inc. 973-366-1131
    Ocean County - Ocean, Inc. 732-244-9041

SPECIAL PARKING PRIVILEGES
If you are temporary or permanently handicapped, you are entitled to a handicapped license plate – displayed on your vehicle or one owned by a family member.

HANDICAPPED PLACARDS: Can be used in any vehicle in which you are a passenger -

  • Only one permanent placard can be issued at a time to a disabled individual

  • If your placard is lost or stolen, you can replace it by returning your handicapped identification card with an application. If you lost the placard and your ID, you need to submit a notarized statement

  • Both permanent and temporary placards are designed to hang from the arm of the rearview mirror when the car is parked. The permanent placard is blue with white lettering and the temporary placard is white with red lettering

HOW TO OBTAIN: Call MVC at (609) 292-6500 or (888) 486-3339 toll free in NJ for an application (ISM/SP–41) and -

  • Complete front side of the application and have a physician complete the certification portion on the back

  • Mail the completed application to:
    Motor Vehicle Commission
    Special Plate Unit
    PO Box 015
    Trenton, NJ 08666-0015

HANDICAPPED IDENTIFICATION CARDS: You will get your handicapped ID card at the same time you receive your plate or placard. You can also apply for a non-driver photo ID or for a non-driver handicapped identification. The non-driver ID is issued solely for the purpose of providing identification and is not a license to drive. If you wish to drive you must apply for a driver license.

RIVER LINE
Senior Citizens 62 and older and passengers with disabilities can travel on-board NJ Transit’s River LINE at a reduced fare of one-half the regular one-way fare or less at all times.

  • Senior Citizens 62 and older may be asked to present a valid ID (any ID or document printed with your date of birth and issued by a government, social service, or mass transportation agency) to obtain the reduced fare.

  • Valid ID for seniors 65 and older also includes the MTA Reduced Fare Card; PA Senior Citizen Transit ID or PACE Card; PATH Senior Fare Card; or Medicare Card.

  • Passengers with disabilities must present an NJ TRANSIT Reduced Fare ID or Medicare Card to obtain the reduced fare. For more information, call the Reduced Fare Program at 1-973-378-6401.
MOTOR VEHICLE COMMISSION
FREE REGISTRATION: For Service-disabled or blind veterans - you may qualify for free registration if you meet the following classifications:
  • Are without sight as a result of war service and eligible for compensation from the state under N.J.S.A. 38:18-1

  • Currently have another service-connected disability and have qualified for a free automobile from the US Veterans Administration and:
    • You have a valid New Jersey driver license or a generated driver license number
    • The vehicle in question is equipped with special attachments or devices that may be necessary for its safe operation
    • The vehicle is properly insured by a New Jersey licensed company
  • APPLY: To apply for free registration, visit any MVC Agency or call (888) 486-3339 toll free in New Jersey or (609) 292-6500 from out-of-state.

    MAIL: The certified application with affixed seal or stamp of U.S. Veterans Administration to:

    Motor Vehicle Commission,
    Government Unit
    P.O. Box 016
    Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0016

    TAX WAIVER
    SOME: Municipalities have passed an Ordinance waiving the local portion of real estate taxes for homeowners who are totally disabled.

    CALL: Your local tax assessor and ask if your municipality has such an Ordinance. If they do, request an application.

    PHARMACEUTICAL ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED AND DISABLED (PAAD)
    PURPOSE: State funded prescription program, which helps income eligible New Jersey residents with

    • the costs of prescribed medication (including insulin, insulin needles, certain diabetic testing materials and syringes, and

    • needs for injectable medicines used to treat Multiple Sclerosis)

    Note: PAAD only covers drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Drugs purchased outside the state of New Jersey are not covered nor are pharmaceutical products whose manufacturer has not signed a rebate agreement with the state of New Jersey.

    Limit: All first time prescriptions are limited to a 34-day supply. The program allows for refills up to a 34-day supply or 100 units doses, whichever is greater. Website

    HANDICAPPED HOME ALTERATIONS
    COVERAGE: Home and car alterations can be covered under workers’ compensation

    HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE FISHING SITES
    NOTE: A list of more than 50 New Jersey fishing sites which are accessible to people who have difficulty with mobility is available from the Division:

    List of NJ Handicapped Accessible Fishing Sites

    The print version is available by sending a $0.41 stamped, self-addressed envelope to:

    ACCESS
    NJ Div. of Fish and Wildlife
    605 Pequest Rd.
    Oxford, NJ 07863

    NJ LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND AND HANDICAPPED

    The services of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped are available without charge to anyone living in New Jersey who for any physical reason cannot read regular printed books. Readers served by the Library include people with a physical disability that prevents them from holding a book or turning its pages. Any one who is legally blind is also eligible. Individuals with a learning disability that is certified by a medical doctor may also use the Library's services.

    AVAILABLE: Provides informational and recreational books in Braille, cassette, and large print. The Library's collection has more than 60,000 book titles and 76 periodicals available. Books by authors such as Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts and Dick Francis, to name a few, are available. Machines for playing the recorded materials are available on loan from the Library. Audiovision, the Library's radio reading service, is available to registered residents in New Jersey.

    APPLY: Each new reader must complete the Library's application form and provide a statement from a doctor, nurse, social worker or librarian certifying eligibility for the program. Service from the Library is by postage-free mail with each book packaged in its own self-mailing container for easy handling. Website

     


    News & Tips

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    MILITARY RECORDS
    Request here

    DISABILITY ETIQUETTE
    Download free pamphlet

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    VETERANS
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    MEDICARE - SHIP
    State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) has a counselor in every State available to provide free one-on-one help with your Medicare questions or problems. For contact information Click Here

    MEDICARE - PREVENTIVE SERVICES
    They include physical exam, cardiovascular screening, cancer, shots, bone mass measurements, diabetes, glaucoma, medical nutrition therapy and other health information; and, a one-time preventive physical exam within the first six months that you have Part B. Since timing is critical -Click Hereto get the info.

    MEDICARE OMBUDSMAN
    Medicare has a Beneficiary Ombudsman to help you review your Medicare issues and help to resolve them. The ombudsman works with SHIP and Quality Improvement Organizations to resolve your issues promptly. For more info Click Here

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