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Important Updates and Reminders from the LRRC

See important information below from the LRRC.

Child Care Subsidies (CHS) – Important Update

  • CHS has become very strict about business income. In general, they are disqualifying any family with partnership, LLC, or corporation income (regardless of whether the income is being used to fulfill the work requirement). Also, anyone with Schedule C income is disqualified until a tax return transcript is available. DO NOT start a business (Schedule C, partnership, or otherwise), while on the childcare subsidy program without talking to the LRRC first. If you currently have business or partnership income, feel free to reach out to us to clarify your eligibility.

Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund – Important Update

 

  • As of October 1st, The Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund stopped paying for medical services received from out-of-network providers. Exceptions may be made for emergencies. Keep this in mind before laying out medical expenses that you can only afford through a grant from this fund.

Open Enrollment 2020 – Coming Up.

  • Open Enrollment for plans beginning January 1, 2020, will be from November 1, 2019, until December 15, 2019. You must sign up for insurance by December 15th to be insured for 2020. If you miss that deadline, you will most likely not be able to get a plan at any point during 2020 – even from a private broker. To sign up for an appointment to get help from the LRRC with applying for a private insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace or comparing your insurance options, visit http://oe2020.lrrcenter.org, and an LRRC representative will contact you to schedule an appointment.

NJ FamilyCare – Reminders

  • If you are on NJ FamilyCare and would like to switch your HMO for pregnancy, make sure to request the switch at the beginning of your pregnancy. If you wait until the middle or end of pregnancy, your request to switch HMOs will be denied. Requests should be made by speaking with a representative at the state (1-800-701-0710), and not through the automated system.

  • All changes must be reported to the NJ FamilyCare office no later than ten days after the change occurs. If you are reporting a change that you believe will disqualify you from the program, you must make sure the change is processed right away. If you report a change and do not hear back within 30 days, call the LRRC for guidance. You may be held responsible for benefits received from any government program that you were not eligible for, even if the processing agency was at fault.

  • Those who believe that they are no longer eligible for NJ FamilyCare should not ignore a recertification request and should not request to be terminated. If you ignore a recertification request or ask to be terminated, you will receive a letter that you are being terminated from NJ FamilyCare due to “failure to recertify” or “voluntarily ending coverage.” You will not be able to enroll in other coverage (even through a broker or employer) in these situations. If you receive recertification paperwork and believe you are no longer eligible, respond with your current income. NJ FamilyCare will process your application and, if you are over the income limit, they will send you a termination letter due to being income-ineligible. Your termination can then be used to activate a Special Enrollment Period.

Home Buyer Programs – Reminder

  • If you are considering purchasing a home within the next year or two, we strongly advise that you sign up for an LRRC housing class. After attending one session, you can schedule an appointment with a certified housing counselor who will discuss your eligibility for available mortgage programs that provide lower mortgage rates, have lower down payment requirements with no mortgage insurance, and offer closing cost assistance. To date, we have matched close to 1,000 home buyers with programs offered by various lenders in our area. Some of these homebuyers have a relatively high income or already own a home. Unfortunately, clients sometimes contact us when they are too close to closing, and it is too late to access these programs. For this reason, we encourage anyone thinking about buying a home to attend our housing class. For more information, or to schedule a slot in an upcoming housing session, call 732-942-9292 ext. 743.

Utility Assistance Programs – Updates

  • NJ Shares will pay up to $700 for outstanding gas bills and another $700 for outstanding electric bills per each calendar year for households who are over the income limit for HEAP/USF. If you have a past-due gas, electric, or water bill, call the LRRC at 732-942-9292 to schedule a screening appointment. NJ Shares also offers a monthly credit on your NJ American Water bill for families below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. So far, in 2019, the LRRC has saved clients a total of $87,617!

  • Gift of Warmth provides a one-time annual grant of up to $300 for anyone with a past-due gas bill. If you have a past-due gas bill, call the LRRC for more information.

  • Ocean Inc will begin accepting applications for HEAP on October 1st.

About the Lakewood Resource and Referral Center (LRRC): The LRRC provides comprehensive social service information, referrals, counseling, community education, and assistance in navigating both government and private-sector programs. We can be reached at 732-942-9292, and we are located at 212 2nd Street, Suite 204. For more information, to donate, or to be added to their mailing list to receive valuable tips and special program announcements, visit www.lrrcenter.org.

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