Financial Assistance Short Term (FAST)

FAST funds are used to provide assistance with rent, utilities, some medications and some transportation. FAST funds are not used to pay phone bills, cable bills, deposits on rental property, utility reconnect fees, taxes, fines or loan or credit card debts. Assistance is limited to funds available, and some assistance is limited to residents of Independence. No more than $100 in assistance can be given during a twelve month period.

1. The consumer must make an appointment with the Community Access Center to discuss the possibility of financial assistance. The consumer is required to provide proof of his or her identity and of his or her current address at each request for assistance.

2. Utility bills: In order for a consumer to receive help with a utility bill, it must be past due or due within the next five days; and must be for the residence at which the consumer is living. A complete copy of the utility bill, showing a breakdown of the charges, must be provided. A disconnect notice does not provide sufficient information. FAST funds will be used to pay the last portion of the bill. The consumer must provide a receipt showing that payment of the first portion of the bill has been made.

3. Rent: Community Access Center staff will confirm that the person signing a rental letter is the owner or manager of the property and that rent is due or past due. FAST funds will be used to pay the last portion of the rent. The consumer must provide a receipt showing that payment of the first portion of the rent has been made. No assistance will be provided to individuals renting from immediate family members.

4. Medication: Consumers are encouraged to request, from the physician, free samples for needed medication. A written prescription, signed by the physician, is required for obtaining assistance. FAST funds cannot be used to obtain narcotic medications.

5. Transportation: In order to obtain assistance with transportation to see a doctor in another community or to interview for a job in another community, the consumer must provide proof of the appointment or interview. FAST funds will not be used for other transportation needs.

6. Checks will be mailed or taken directly to the utility company, pharmacy, landlord or other payee.

7. If it is determined that the consumer has falsified any information, the request for assistance will be denied and the consumer will not be allowed to request further assistance for a period to be determined by the Community Access Center Board.

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