Updated 2016 LIHEAP and USF Income Guidelines

The state of New Jersey has released income guidelines for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Universal Service Fund (USF) program. As has been the custom for almost twenty years, information on these and other energy assistance programs has been updated and available on the New Jersey Community Resources website and blog.

For more information visit the website homepage or the energy assistance programs page.

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2015 LIHEAP and USF Guidelines

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has released the 2015 income guidelines for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Universal Service Fund (USF) programs. The USF-LIHEAP season officially begins October 1, 2014.

The 2015 Maximum Income Limits are available at http://www.njcommunityresources.info/USFHEA2015MaximumIncomeLimits.pdf.

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Position Available – Director of Development & Community Outreach

Job Title: Director of Development and Community Outreach

Program: Membership Services, Fundraising, Volunteers, & Outreach

Position: Part-time/hourly to start with full-time potential
Must produce revenue goals for position to be sustained

Reports to: Executive Director

Date of Posting: August 5, 2014

Summary Description: This job exists to assist the Executive Director and to lead the organization’s fundraising, membership and outreach initiatives. Serves as a key staff member and fills in for Executive Director at events and appearances when she is not available.

Supervises: Membership Services, Farm & Food Guide Publication, Annual Campaign, Leadership Giving, Corporate Sponsorships, Media communications, Volunteers and Ambassador Program.

Principal Responsibilities: Effectively manage NOFA-NJ relationships while growing revenue through membership, sponsorship, individual donations and grant writing. While there are a variety of activities associated with this position, heavy emphasis is on managing the organization’s grant program.

Position Requirements: We are seeking an experienced development professional with excellent writing and communication skills and a proven track record in marketing and development for a non-profit organization. Candidate must have creative vision with the ability to strategize. Must be independently motivated, highly organized, and able to work in a team setting. Best applicant will possess strong writing, communication and interpersonal skills. Passion and understanding about organic food and farming a must. Bachelor’s degree strongly preferred. Some statewide car travel necessary. This position is at will and comes with the expectation that it exceeds revenue goals year over year.

For full position description and application instructions visit the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) career page.

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Heat and Eat Program, Part II

A number of articles have appeared in the past few weeks and months, written by various advocacy groups on the ‘Heat and Eat’ issue. Together, they provide a compelling story about new, threatened safety net cuts for New Jersey families. Selected articles are:

The bill now awaits action by Governor Christie.

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Heat and Eat: New Jersey Legislature Responds To Protect SNAP

A number of months ago it was disclosed that tens of thousands of seniors, disabled individuals, minor children and other low income New Jersey families again faced possible cuts in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (previously known as food stamps). Yesterday, June 26, the New Jersey Legislature passed legislation to avoid the cuts by tailoring New Jersey policy to requirements spelled out in the federal Farm Bill passed by Congress and signed by the President earlier this year.

The legislation, A2956, sometimes referred to as the “Heat and Eat bill” passed both the Assembly and State Senate overwhelmingly. A reprint of the bill is available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/A3000/2956_R2.PDF. An independent evaluation of the legislation is also available online by the Office of Legislative Services. The bill now awaits action by Governor Christie.

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Information and Resources To Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit

The purpose of this article is to bring attention of the Earned Income Tax Credit – both federal and state – to New Jerseyans and to provide links to various EITC resources.

According to national statistics, about 20% – 25% of eligible households do not claim the EITC benefits. Those who go without this income boost can lose out on thousand of dollars in tax credits or refunds. For example, workers who earned too little to be required to file a tax return must complete a return to receive an EITC refund.

EITC outreach material is available from a number of agencies and organizations. They include:

  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities EITC Outreach Kit
  • New Jersey Division of Family Development EITC Fact Sheet
  • New Jersey Division of Family Development EITC Flyer

    Free assistance in the preparation of federal and New Jersey state income tax returns is available for taxpayers at local VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites and AARP Foundations sites. A list of available locations is available by calling either 2-1-1, or the IRS at 800-906-9887. The NJ 2-1-1 Partnership maintains a list of VITA/AARP sites at http://www.nj211.org/vita09.cfm . The IRS provides a VITA Locator at http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/.

    All taxpayers with a 2013 adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less can access brand name tax software at no cost. For details visit, http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File%3A-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free or the Free File Alliance.

    Visit the Earned Income Tax Credit page on the New Jersey Community Resources website regarding a policy instruction recently issued by the New Jersey Division of Family Development concerning the treatment of EITC as it relates to TANF, General Assistance, and SNAP (formerly food stamps).

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    Tri-State Region to Congress: Put Transit Tax Benefits at the Top of To-Do List

    Tri-State Region to Congress: Put Transit Tax Benefits at the Top of To-Do List.

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