By Ronica Shannon
Register Senior Writer
Help is coming for Madison County residents who cannot afford to heat their homes during the winter.
Sign-ups for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) administered by Kentucky River Foothills begins Monday Nov. 5. Application appointment dates are determined by the first letter of the head of household’s last name.
The Foothills Outreach Office at 123 Pine St. in Richmond will be taking applications Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office is closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Both homeowners and renters who are responsible for their heating bills and have low or fixed incomes are eligible. Qualifying participants will receive an energy assistance voucher.
“Energy services include electricity, gas, kerosene, propane or wood,” said Karen Bailey, spokesperson for Kentucky River Foothills.
“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 and the type of fuel used for heating.”All eligible households will receive a benefit until LIHEAP funds are exhausted. Benefits will be made payable to the household’s primary or secondary heating fuel vendor.
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.
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 exceeding 130 percent 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
• 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.
In addition to the above eligibility requirements, crisis applicants must be within four days of running out of fuel if wood, coal, propane, fuel oil or kerosene is the heat source or a disconnect/past due notice has been received from the vendor.
Applicants must bring the following information:
• Most recent heating bill, or verification that heating expenses are included in rent
• Metered utility bill (natural gas, electric, or water) as proof of address
• Social Security cards, or Permanent Residence card (Green Card) for each member of household
• Proof of all household income from preceding month.
When the crisis component begins in January, 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 past due/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.
Call the Madison County Outreach Office at 623-6514 for more details about LIHEAP heating assistance.
Applications will be taken in alphabetical order based on the first letter of the head of household’s last name using the following schedule:
Nov. 5 A
Nov. 6 Staff Day
Nov. 7 B
Nov. 8 B
Nov. 9 C
Nov. 12 C
Nov. 13 D, E
Nov. 14 F
Nov. 15 G
Nov. 16 H
Nov. 19 H
Nov. 20 I, J
Nov. 21 Staff Day
Nov. 22 Closed
Nov. 23 Closed
Nov. 26 K
Nov. 27 L
Nov. 28 M
Nov. 29 M
Nov. 30 N
Dec. 3 O, P
Dec. 4 Q, R
Dec. 5 S
Dec. 6 S
Dec. 7 T
Dec. 10 T
Dec. 11 U, V, W
Dec. 12 X, Y, Z
Dec. 13 Open
Dec. 14 Open
Applications will be taken through December 14, 2012.
LIHEAP has established income guidelines to determine eligibility. For the 2012-2013 program year, the income guidelines are:
Household Size Gross Monthly Income
n 1 $1,211
n 2 $1,640
n 3 $2,069.
n 4 $2,498.
n 5 $2,927
n 6 $3,356
n 7 $3,785
n 8 $4,214
* Add $429 for each additional family