The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Kentucky helps every year around 150,000 families, specially during the cold winter months, by assisting them in covering their heating expenses. Funding for this program is allocated to Kentucky by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
The Cabinet partners with Community Action Agencies across the state to facilitate LIHEAP applications and disburse recipient benefits, making sure that those in need receive the assistance they require. Actually, it’s accepting applications now, and here are the requirements to qualify for this much-needed cash. Keep reading and learn how to apply if you reside in Kentucky.
How to Apply Now for LIHEAP in Kentucky
LIHEAP’s home heating program consists of two primary components: Subsidy and Crisis. The Subsidy component operates during November and December, providing aid to residents at or below 130% of the federal poverty level to cover home heating expenses. Eligible applicants may receive direct payments or have their heating costs incorporated as an undesignated part of their rent.
In addition to income criteria, applicants are generally required to have liquid assets below $2,000. However, exceptions are made for households facing catastrophic illness, allowing them to have up to $4,000 in liquid assets if these resources are earmarked for medical and living expenses.
The Crisis component of LIHEAP operates from early January until mid-March or until available funds are depleted. To qualify, applicants must meet the aforementioned income guidelines and be in a crisis situation, such as the imminent loss of heating energy, which usually requires providing a utility disconnect notice. Additionally, households with four or fewer days of fuel oil, propane, kerosene, wood, or coal remaining, or those who have received an eviction notice due to unpaid rent (for those whose heating costs are part of their rent), can also seek assistance. Households at or above 75% of the poverty level may be asked to contribute a portion or co-payment of the minimum amount necessary to resolve the crisis.
During periods of additional federal or state funding availability, LIHEAP offers a summer cooling program. This component provides a one-time payment to eligible households’ cooling (electric) providers, ensuring that residents can stay cool during the sweltering summer months. In cases where residents face health risks associated with excessive heat, air conditioners may also be provided to alleviate their discomfort and protect their well-being.
Requirements to Apply for Kentucky’s LIHEAP Program
When applying for heating LIHEAP assistance, you may need the following prerequisites and/or documents:
- The most recent copies of your utility bills that show the account numbers and names for all heating fuel sources and electric.
- One of the most recent payroll stubs or other proof of the applicant’s current gross income.
- Documents that show any income from Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, pension funds, disability, etc. You may obtain verification of your Social Security and/or SSI benefits by creating an account on the my Social Security website.
- Final utility termination notice (if you have received a shut-off notice from your energy company).
- A proof of your current address (e.g., an unopened piece of mail, rent receipt, lease or deed, property tax bill).
- A proof of the total members living in your household.
- All the Social Security cards (or numbers) for all persons living in your household.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence, if you’re an immigrant.
If you’re able to put together all the requirements, head to the Cabinet for Health and Familiy Services official website here.