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Low Income Energy Assistance Program Helps Heat Homes

LIEAPHeating your home during the winter months can create a financial burden.

In an effort to help keep Kansans warm this winter, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) will soon begin 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. "The winter months can bring frigid temperatures and we want families to be able to escape the cold in the warmth of their homes."

LIEAP provides an annual benefit to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills. Persons with disabilities, older adults and families with children are the primary groups assisted. In 2013, nearly 48,000 households received an average benefit of $489.

Russell City Finance Director Katrina Woelk echoes the program's viability for older adults and says income requirements do apply.

To qualify, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. Income eligibility requirements are set at 130 percent of the federal poverty level. The level of benefit varies according to household income, number of people living in the home, type of residence, type of heating fuel and utility rates.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have made payments on their heating bill 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.

Applications for the program have been mailed to households that received energy assistance last year. LIEAP applications are also available at local DCF offices and through partnering agencies, such as the City of Russell. They can be requested by calling 1-800-432-0043. To apply online, visit www.dcf.ks.gov. More information is available at http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/ees/Pages/Energy/EnergyAssistance.aspx.

Applications will be accepted from January 21 to March 31.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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