Heating your home during the winter can carry a heavy financial burden. With this in mind, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) has started accepting applications for its Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP).
“Although we’re experiencing a comfortable January week, winter has just begun,” DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said in a news release. “The winter months can bring frigid temperatures and we want families to be able to escape the cold in the warmth of their homes.”
Applications became available starting Tuesday, Jan. 21.
LIEAP allows an annual benefit for qualifying households to help pay their winter heating bills. Primary groups assisted are those with disabilities, families with children and older adults. In 2013, an average benefit of $489 went to nearly 48,000 households.
There are several requirements to qualify for leap. Applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. They must also show that they have made payments on their heating bills 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.
To be eligible, individuals must have an income at 130 percent of the federal poverty level. The level of benefit varies according to the number of people living in the home, household income, type of heating fuel, type of residence and utility rates.
Applications for LIEAP have been mailed to households that received assistance last year. Individuals can also find LIEAP applications at local DCF offices and through partnering agencies. They can also be requested by calling (800) 432 – 0043. To apply online, visit www.dcf.ks.gov. Applications will be accepted until March 31.
Funding for LIEAP is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Service through the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.