Middle-income families may now benefit and time to apply expanded

As part of her continuing efforts to help Kansans navigate high utility bills due to the recent artic weather, Governor Laura Kelly is expanding the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP). The program provides an annual benefit to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills. In the past, LIEAP has primarily assisted persons with disabilities, older adults and families with children.

Effective immediately, the Kansas Department for Children and Families is extending the application deadline for LIEAP to May 28. Additionally, the agency is expanding the income requirements from 130% of the federal poverty level to 150%.

“We know that many people face higher than normal energy bills because of the unprecedented winter weather in February,” said Governor Laura Kelly.

Individuals that might most benefit from the program’s expansion includes:

Families who may have had their income reduced due to unemployment

Families who may have typically had no problem paying their utility bills who may be struggling with higher energy bills due to this winter’s extremely cold weather. 

To qualify for the program, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. The new eligible income level allows a family of four to have an annual income of up to $39,500 and still qualify for the program.  

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 need to 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.

DCF also will review all previously denied applications during the 2021 LIEAP program year. Any cases that now qualify under the new income threshold and meet other eligibility criteria will receive the benefit.

LIEAP applications are available at local DCF offices and through partnering agencies. They can be requested by calling 1-800-432-0043. To apply online, visit https://cssp.kees.ks.gov/apspssp/sspNonMed.portal. For more information, visit http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/ees/Pages/EnergyAssistance.aspx.

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