WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The cold weather hitting Kansas brings along with it the rising prices of energy bills.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Kansas Corporation Commission, the cost of gas across the nation is expected to rise by 30%, while energy costs are expected to be 6% higher.
Some Kansans may qualify for help in heating their homes this winter.
“This strain on already stressed family financial situations is cause for concern,” said DCF Secretary Laura Howard. “The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is ready to assist Kansans with the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP).”
LIEAP provides an annual benefit to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills.
The primary groups assisted by LIEAP are people with disabilities, older adults and families with children.
According to the DCF, in 2021, 38,750 households received an average benefit of $1,389, an increase from 2020 when about 34,000 households received an average benefit of $960.
Applications for the program are being accepted now through Thursday, March 31, at 5 p.m.
According to the DCF, to qualify, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills.
Income eligibility requirements are set at 150% of the federal poverty level. 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.
Income eligibility determination:
|Persons Living at the Address||Maximum Gross Monthly Income|
|+1||$568 for each additional person|
The DCF has mailed out applications for the program to households that received energy assistance last year.
LIEAP applications are also available at local DCF offices and through partnering agencies starting Jan. 3. They can be requested by calling 1-800-432-0043. Residents can also apply online.
Funding for the Low-Income Energy Assistance program is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Service through the Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.