The Randolph County Department of Social Services will continue to take applications for fuel assistance through Wednesday at its office in the Ira McDowell Governmental Center in Asheboro. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

``The purpose of this program is to provide families with some relief from high energy costs during the winter,' said Human Resources Secretary David T. Flaherty. ``Priority will be given to the elderly, disabled citizens and families with young children.'Flaherty emphasized that the program provides a one-time payment to help needy North Carolinians pay their heating bills.

To be eligible for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, families must have income at or below 110 percent of the 1990 federal poverty level, which is $771 per month for a family of two, and $1,164 per month for a family of four. In addition to these income limits, a household's financial assets cannot exceed a value of $2,200.

The size of payments families receive will depend upon the number of people in the household, their combined incomes, where they live, and the type of heating fuel they use. Last year more than 160,000 families in the state received this federal assistance, with payments averaging $106 per household. This year, North Carolina's expenditure for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program is expected to be about $18 million.

Applicants should bring or send their Social Security cards for all household members, all household income verifications (pay stubs for October), savings and checking accounts, stocks or bonds, verification of property other than where you live, and hospital insurance receipts for those who are on fixed incomes.

For more information, call 629-1776 in Asheboro, 884-1722 in the Archdale-Trinity area or 274-7961 in Liberty.

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