Energy assistance program begins Monday

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kentucky River Foothills will begin the subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Monday, Nov. 5. Applications will be taken at 32 Meadow St.

LIHEAP provides financial assistance to income-eligible households with home heating costs through two programs: LIHEAP subsidy (typically in November and December) and LIHEAP crisis (typically January through March or until all funds are expended).

LIHEAP is a statewide initiative sponsored by Community Action Kentucky in partnership with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services appropriates funding to Kentucky through the CHFS, which contracts with Community Action Agencies across the state to receive LIHEAP applications and provide recipient benefits.

Both homeowners and renters who are responsible for their heating bills and have low or fixed incomes are eligible.

LIHEAP is now operating on an appointment-based system. Appointments can be made by calling 859-544-1713 or online at foothillscap.cascheduler.com.

Qualifying participants will receive an energy assistance benefit. Energy services include electric, gas, kerosene, propane, coal or wood.

Eligible participants do not need to have an unpaid energy bill or be out of fuel to receive energy assistance in the subsidy portion of this program. The benefit amount that each household receives will be based on its level of poverty, living in subsidized or unsubsidized housing and the type of fuel used for heating.

All eligible households will receive a benefit until LIHEAP funds are fully depleted. Benefits will be made payable to the household’s primary or secondary heating fuel vendor.

A household is considered to be eligible for energy assistance when the household meets the basic eligibility criteria:

— Completion of an application;

— Is responsible for home energy costs, directly or as an undesignated portion of their rent;

— Have a combined household income, for the calendar month prior to the month of application, not in excess of 130% of the federal poverty level as listed in the Income Eligibility Guidelines;

— Live in Kentucky when the application is made and apply in the county of residence; and

— Not have liquid resources in excess of $2,000, or $3,000 if at least one person in the household is 60 or older: and/or disabled except for households where a member has a catastrophic illness. The amount may be $4,000 when the resources are being accessed for medical and living expenses.

Applicants should bring proof of Social Security number or permanent residence card (green card) for each member of household, proof of all household members’ income from preceding month, most recent heating bill, verification from landlord that heating expenses are included in rent or state from utility company verifying participating in pre-pay electric program and vendor information (including account number and name on account) for your main heating fuel as well as electric.

For the 2018-19 program year, the income guidelines are:

— $1,316 for a household of one,

— $1,784 for a household of two,

— $2,252 for a household of three,

— $2,720 for a household of four,

— $3,188 for a household of five,

— $3,656 for a household of six,

— $4,124 for a household of eight and

— $4,592 for a household of nine, adding $468 for each additional family member.

When the crisis component begins on Jan. 7, a household shall be considered to be in a home heating crisis situation when the household meets the basic LIHEAP eligibility criteria and: the household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the heat source; the household has received a disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heat source; or the household’s home heating costs are included as an undesignated portion of the rent, and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent from the landlord.

Applications will be taken from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Clark County Outreach Office located at 32 Meadow St. The phone number is 744-3235. Applications will be taken through Dec. 14.