State?s LIEAP offers payment assistance with heating bills for qualifying families

The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services will be accepting applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program from Tuesday, Jan. 19 through Wednesday, March 31.

LIEAP provides an annual benefit to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills. Individuals with disabilities, elderly persons and families with children are the primary groups assisted.

An average benefit of $844.22 was provided to 46,959 households in 2009.

?The frigid winter weather we?ve recently experienced really emphasizes how important it is for families to be able to maintain warm, safe homes,? said Don Jordan, SRS secretary.

To qualify, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. Income eligibility guidelines are set at 130 percent of the federal poverty level. (See chart.)

The level of benefit varies according to household income, number of persons living at the address, type of dwelling, type of heating fuel and utility rates.

Applicants must demonstrate they have made payments on their energy utility bill(s) during the past three months and those combined payments must be equal to 10 percent of the household?s monthly gross income or $80, whichever is less.

Anyone receiving an SRS benefit?cash, medical, food assistance or LIEAP?will automatically receive an application packet in the mail and they are encouraged to use the application and return envelope that is included to expedite processing.

LIEAP applications are also available at local SRS offices or can be requested by calling toll-free 1-800-432-0043. Visit ks-energy-assistance.com to apply online.

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