Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Makes Additional $2.5 Million Available for Cooling Assistance

Press Release Date:  Monday, August 20, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

Vikki Franklin
502-564-7042
 


Funds to help low-income families and the elderly

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher has instructed the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to make $2.5 million in funds available immediately to provide cooling assistance to low income families and the elderly through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

“I am happy to announce this cooling assistance funding for some of the state’s most vulnerable people and families,” Governor Fletcher said. “With the heat wave Kentucky has experienced in recent weeks, this is about far more than making people comfortable. It’s about taking steps to ward off serious health risks, especially among children and the elderly, and helping prevent the worsening of chronic illnesses.”

Under the LIHEAP cooling program, eligible households may receive assistance – up to a maximum of $250 per household – in paying their cooling (electric) bill or toward the purchase of an air conditioner (based on availability).

To qualify for assistance on a cooling bill, household income must be at or less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level. In addition, households must pay home cooling costs for which they are responsible either by direct payment or as an undesignated portion of their rent and have cash resources of no more than:

  • $3,000 if at least one person in the household is 60 or older, or disabled.
  • $4,000 if a member of the household has an illness which requires cash resources to be accessed regularly for medical and living expenses.
  • $2,000 for all other households.

Air conditioners may be provided for families with members at risk for health problems related to excessive heat. To qualify for an air conditioner, the household must meet all the requirements above, not currently have an air conditioner or access to an air conditioner, and include a resident 65 or older, a resident younger than 6, or at least one resident with a health condition or disability that could worsen under excessively hot conditions.

Applications for cooling assistance are being accepted at all Kentucky Community Action Agency offices. Those applying for assistance should provide the following:

  • Copies of recent utility bills.
  • A recent payroll stub or other proof of current gross income.
  • Documentation of any income from Social Security, unemployment insurance, pension funds, disability, etc.
  • Final utility termination notice, if a shut-off notice has been received.
  • Proof of current address, such as rent receipts, lease or deed or property tax bill.
  • Proof of total members living in the household, such as birth certificates and school records.
  • Social Security cards or numbers for all persons living in the household.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.

LIHEAP is a federal program that helps fund state-operated home energy assistance programs for low-income households. LIHEAP also funds low-cost residential weatherization and other energy-related home repairs and energy crisis intervention programs, including providing air conditioning and fans to the elderly and disabled. Each year, LIHEAP helps about 150,000 low-income Kentucky families with the costs of heating and/or cooling their homes.

To find local Community Action Agency offices, visit http://www.kaca.org/agencies/find_office.asp

The LIHEAP State Plan is being amended to provide these funds and is available for review upon request. To receive a copy of the plan, contact Karla Thompson at the Department of Community Based Services within CHFS at (502) 564-7514 or by writing DCBS Division of Family Support, 275 E. Main Street, 3E-I, Frankfort, KY 40621.


###