Community Action Kentucky today announced open enrollment for the Crisis Component of its Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin next week. Applications will be accepted January 4 through March 31, 2020, or until designated funds are depleted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Qualified residents should apply at any one of the 23 Community Action Agencies located across the state.
“LIHEAP continues to be a much-needed resource for those struggling to pay home heating costs,” said Roger McCann, executive director of Community Action Kentucky. “As we approach the coldest months of the year, it is imperative that we ensure those needing assistance through the LIHEAP Crisis Component are aware of this program and take timely steps to apply.”
LIHEAP support is divided into two components, a Subsidy Component and a Crisis Component. The Subsidy Component can offset heating costs based on an individual’s income and primary fuel type. Benefits are paid directly to the primary fuel vendor. Enrollment for the Subsidy Component is open November-December each year.
To utilize the Crisis Component, applicants must meet the same income eligibility requirements as the Subsidy Component, as well as have received a “disconnect” notice from their utility company or be within 4 days of running out of a non-metered fuel such as propane. If the applicant is responsible for energy costs as an undesignated portion of rent, an eviction notice is required. Crisis applicants who participate in a Pre-Pay Electric Program would be eligible if they are within 10 days of running out of pre-paid electric services.
Benefits offered through the Crisis Component are limited to the amount necessary to relieve the crisis with the maximum amount not to exceed the Community Action Agency’s local cost for a deliverable supply of the household’s primary heating fuel or $400 for gas or electric. Benefits may take the form of fuel deliveries, service reconnection, blankets or sleeping bags, loan of space heaters and emergency shelter. Crisis relief will be provided within 48 hours or 18 hours if an emergency.
Applicants who are unable to apply for themselves must contact their local Community Action Agency to make other arrangements. If the designated representative is not the head of household or spouse, the representative must have a signed statement giving authorization to apply for the household. Individuals without a designated representative should contact their local Community Action Agency, which may be able to assist them in finding one. Only one person from each household should apply.
Kentucky’s network of 23 Community Action Agencies, which collectively operate outreach offices in all 120 Kentucky counties, administer LIHEAP in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a pass-through block grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. More information about LIHEAP and listing of LIHEAP outreach offices can be found at the links below.