The Breathing Association (TBA) understands that low-income families financially struggle. In March 2020, the COVID-19 crisis created a new population of applicants, households experiencing financial and medical vulnerability for the first time. TBA is here for those households we have assisted in the past and those who are navigating social service systems for the first time. Our process includes educating customers of our available resources, processing applications for all of our programs and linking households to partner agencies where appropriate. We understand HEAP dollars help protect the health and safety of our customers. We provided phone interviews for assistance and approved payments and budget plans during the COVID 19 crisis and continued our tradition of being available when health crisis besieged our community. (113 years ago, we were on the frontlines of treating patients during the TB epidemic.)
Our history is rich. In 1988, TBA became the first agency to join public health and energy with health care services by providing air conditioners and electric utility vendor payments to households who were income eligible and had a family member with a lung health diagnosis.
In 2005, TBA expanded its summer only energy assistance program by opening a year round HEAP program for eligible Franklin County residents. This program provides a number of services under its HEAP umbrella: The Winter Crisis Program (WCP), Summer Crisis Program (SCP), Percentage Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) and Regular HEAP.
All programs, with the exception of regular HEAP, require a face-to-face interview (During COVID-19 the requirement for face-to-face interviews was waived and a phone interview for assistance is sufficient.). Household members must provide documentation (see program guidelines) of income eligibility. If a household receives a payment, a PIPP (or an alternate payment plan) will be set up to maintain stability while making payments more manageable.