Low-income program helps heat homes this winter

Thermostat

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Heating your home during the winter months can create a financial burden. In an effort to help keep Kansans warm this winter, the Kansas Department for Children and Families will begin accepting applications for its Low-Income Energy Assistance Program on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

“No family should have to endure the frigid temperatures of the winter months without proper heating,” DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel said. “Our LIEAP program ensures low-income Kansans are able to escape the cold in the warmth of their homes.”

LIEAP provides an annual benefit to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills. Persons with disabilities, older adults and families with children are the primary groups assisted. In 2017, nearly 38,000 households received an average benefit of $525.

To qualify, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. Income eligibility requirements are set at 130 percent of the federal poverty level. The level of benefit varies according to household income, number of people living in the home, type of residence, type of heating fuel and utility rates.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have made payments on their heating bill two out of the last three months. Those payments must be equal to or exceed $80 or the total balance due on their energy bills, whichever is less.

Applications for the program have been mailed to households that received energy assistance last year. LIEAP applications are also available at local DCF offices and through partnering agencies starting Jan. 16. They can be requested by calling 1-800-432-0043. To apply online, visit www.lieap.dcf.ks.gov.