If you are concerned about the approaching colder temperatures and money is not coming in like you had hoped for, you may be experiencing worry on how you will pay for heating your home this winter. Don’t be afraid, because if you qualify, there is help right here in Logan County through Community Action of Southern Kentucky’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
The program began taking applications Nov. 4 at the Logan County office located on East 4th Street in Russellville. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The office is closed Saturday and Sunday.
Each year the non-profit receives funding from both the federal and state governments to assist those in need, however, there is only enough money to spread around the 10 county area that Community Action serves. The agency also relies on donations from the private sector. So getting in line now would be beneficial.
The heating assistance program comes in two phases. The first is the subsidy phase. This is when people can come in and receive a benefit if they are income eligible and qualify. The benefit can be anywhere from $34 to $274 on a utility bill depending on income, housing and heating source. This phase is currently in operation.
The second is the crisis phase. The crisis phase runs later in the year and the first of next year. This is for people who have either had their heating source turned off because they can’t pay the bill or have received notification it is going to be turned off. It is also for those who are within four days of running out of a fuel source such as propane, kerosene or natural gas and cannot afford to purchase more.
In order to apply for the subsidy phase, one needs to bring with him or her their Social Security cards for everyone in the home, proof of income for the previous month for everyone in the home who is not currently in high school, and a statement from the heating source, such as a billing statement.
To apply for the crisis phase one needs to bring in the same information as is required for the subsidy phase, plus a cut-off notice from his or her heating source.
The assistance is based on income, however, the income is based on a formula so those who need help should come in and ask.
People don’t realize they qualify because they try to add their income up themselves and calculate it to the eligibility table. They won’t know if they don’t come in and do it by the formula set.
The program really helps a lot of people, especially during very cold winters. Every little bit helps.
The organization is always looking for additional funding as well. There are some cases that might not meet the qualifications for the federal and state guidelines, but they are only barely above it. With donations Community Action can help them. If you would like to help a family heat their home, you can donate online at casoky.org or visit the local office in Russellville.
People need to know there is only so much money for both phases, so first come first serve for those who qualify. You can only apply once for the subsidy phase and there are limits to the crisis phase. A referral list is kept for those who they cannot help or have already received help and need more.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.