By | November 16, 2020

Spindale, NC – Rutherford County Department of Social Services is accepting applications for the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP). This federally funded program assists eligible households that are in an immediate and life threatening heating or cooling related crisis. Heating assistance includes electricity, wood, coal, fuel oil, kerosene, or gas. To avoid coming to the DSS office, and to help protect against the spread of COVID-19, consumers have several ways to apply for assistance this year.

Households may apply for assistance by telephone by calling the Energy Line at 828-287-1248. A telephonic signature will be utilized so no visit to the agency is necessary. Due to higher than normal call volumes during this time, consumers may be prompted to leave a message. Calls will be returned within 24 hours to begin the application process.

An interactive application completed on the DSS web site and printed, or printed and completed by hand, can be emailed to To access the online information and application go to, click departments and select Social Services, click the link at the stop of the home page, and scroll down on this page to locate information about CIP.

CIP Applications are also available for pick up at DSS, or a request to have one mailed can be made by calling the Energy Line at 828-287-1248. For those that wish to drop off an application in person, a drop box, accessible 24 hours a day, is located at the entrance of the DSS lobby at the lower level of building C. Any completed application may be emailed to

Applicants should have a past due notice from the vendor of their heating source or have 10% or less gas in their tank, or 15 inches or less of fuel oil or kerosene, or have a limited supply of wood or kerosene for portable heaters. Benefits may vary based upon the amount needed to alleviate the crisis. An eligible household may receive assistance more than one time during the State Fiscal Year (July through June); however, the maximum benefit cannot exceed $600 per fiscal year. To qualify households must have income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty level, contain a US Citizen or eligible alien, and must be in a heating or cooling related crisis.

All Household income must be verified by pay stubs or some other means through an employer. If a person is receiving other services administered by the Department of Social Services where income was verified that can be used in some cases. However, applicants may need to provide verification of at least one-month’s income.   This will help ensure that applications are processed as quickly as possible.

For further information about this program or to apply by phone please call our Energy Department at 828-287-1248.