FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 21, 2004) – The deadline for Kentucky families to apply for heating assistance this year has been extended.
Subsidy applications for help from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 31. The original deadline was Dec. 10.
"We’ve extended the application process to make sure Kentucky families in need of help staying warm and healthy this winter know about the program and can sign up for assistance," said Eugene Foster, undersecretary for Children and Family Services at the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
LIHEAP helps qualified families pay their energy bills and is especially vital during extreme weather.
Natural gas prices have risen up to 15 percent this year, according to the Kentucky Public Service Commission. Paired with forecasts for a cold winter, that can mean a struggle paying hefty bills for some families.
In Kentucky, LIHEAP is operated by the Kentucky Association for Community Action (KACA) through a network of the state’s 23 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) under a contract with the cabinet. Every county has at least one CAA office. Many CAAs may be closed Dec. 31 for the New Year’s Day holiday.
Kentuckians may apply for LIHEAP benefits at their local CAAs.
Applicants must bring the following items:
- Proof of income for all household members for the previous month,
- Social Security numbers for all household members and
- The most recent heating bill or proof that heat is included in the rent.
Families with incomes at or below 110 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for assistance, which goes directly to customers’ utility providers. Maximum monthly income for a family of four is $1,729.
Many of the families who benefit from LIHEAP include children, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Kentucky’s share of the program’s $1.2 billion federal budget is $24 million.
The winter LIHEAP program has two phases: subsidy and crisis.
During the subsidy phase, funding is intended to help families avoid a winter heating emergency during the coldest months, said Glenna Reed, the cabinet’s LIHEAP coordinator.
Last fiscal year, 99,000 households got LIHEAP subsidy assistance.
The second part of the program, the crisis application phase, is from Jan. 10-March 31, 2005, or until available funds are gone.
During the crisis component, applicants must meet subsidy requirements and be within four days of running out of fuel or have received a disconnect notice from their utility.
For more information about LIHEAP or a list of CAAs, log onto