LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A program that helps low-income people pay their winter heating bills started Monday.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, provides financial help to low-income households to pay some of the costs to heat their homes. Applicants must have a household income at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.
“It's huge just to be able to help any family, any home, any household. You know, a lot of folks are making decisions to whether they buy food, or buy their medication, or pay their bills," said LIHEAP Supervisor Brandon O'Neal. "But with us, we're able to help offset some of those bills costs and help them, you know, keep the homes warm.”
Louisville Metro's Office of Resilience and Community Services is now accepting advance appointments for the program through December 10, 2021, or until funds are depleted.
Right now, O'Neal says they have about 360 appointments a day with people seeking assistance with their heating bills.
“With the pandemic, it has put a lot of pressure on different homes and people that we wouldn't normally typically see are coming in to receive assistance," said O'Neal.
Families and individuals in Jefferson County at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines who are responsible for home energy cost (whether directly or as an undesignated portion of rent), are eligible for the program.
Residents can apply regardless of the current status of their utility bills.
“Bring the proper documentation," O'Neal said. "That's proof of income for everyone in the household ... along with that, they'll need social security cards for everyone in the household and ... the most recent LG&E bill.”
The subsidy component provides households a one-time benefit based on income levels and housing category. Payments can be made directly to LG&E or other utility companies.
O'Neal encourages anyone in need to apply for the program.
“Don't count yourself out. If you fit the income guidelines, if you fit the qualifications, please come to one of our sites, come to one of our centers or schedule your appointment so you can bring your documentation in so that we can help you," O'Neal said. "That's what we're here for.”
Appointments are required in advance to apply.
How to apply:
Schedule a drop-off appointment in advance at one of the seven LIHEAP Drop Boxes. Jefferson County residents meeting eligibility can call the automated scheduler at 502-991-8391 or visit online at louisvilleky.cascheduler.com.
Jefferson County households within 150% of 2021-22 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence card (Green Card) for each member of the household.
- Proof of all household’s (all members) income from the preceding month. All individuals 18 or over in the household with no income — and no way to document that status such as a Food Stamp Award letter — must have a Proof of No Income Form completed prior to applying for benefits. These forms are available at the LIHEAP Drop Box locations or online at louisvilleky.gov/LIHEAP.
- Most current heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in your rent, or a statement from utility company if you participate in a Pre-Pay Electric Program.
- LIHEAP Application which can be downloaded at louisvilleky.gov/LIHEAP or found at the LIHEAP office Drop boxes.
Copies of LIHEAP documentation, along with the downloadable LIHEAP Application should be dropped off at the RCS site you select, on the day of your appointment.
Applicants will be contacted by RCS staff within 72 hours (3 business days) of the appointment time.
Also during the LIHEAP season, RCS will administer the Home Energy Assistance program — or HEA — offered by LG&E which provides a monthly benefit (formerly ASAP program). Eligible residents who are active LG&E customers will be automatically enrolled to be a potential participant for the HEA when they apply for LIHEAP Fall Subsidy.
Only a portion of the applications will be selected to participate in the HEA Program. More info can be found at https://lge-ku.com/assistance-programs.
For more descriptions about the drop box locations, income eligibility and other instructions, call the automated LIHEAP information line at 502-991-8391 or visit louisvilleky.cascheduler.com. Residents may also visit https://louisvilleky.gov/LIHEAP for more details.
Individuals who require more information can contact Metro311 by simply dialing 311 or (502) 574-5000, email email@example.com, tweet @LouMetro311, or download the free Mobile Louisville Metro 311 app from the website. Residents can also call Metro United Way’s 2-1-1 help referral service.
Community Action Kentucky administers LIHEAP in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services who receive the funding as a pass-through block grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More information about LIHEAP and a listing of LIHEAP outreach offices can be found at the Community Action Kentucky website at www.CAPKY.org.
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