The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Program Overview (Spanish Version)
LIHEAP es un programa financiado por el gobierno federal para ayudar a las familias elegibles y de bajos ingresos para cubrir sus necesidades de calefacción y/o de aire acondicionado.
Un folleto que ofrece una visión general del programa está disponible y puede ser leído en el Internet o descargado. Un sitio web que ofrece una vision general del programa está disponible.
LIHEAP is a federally-funded program to help eligible low income households meet their home heating and/or cooling needs.
The Kentucky LIHEAP program helps approximately 150,000 Kentucky families pay their heating bills each winter. The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services allocates funding to Kentucky through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which contracts with Community Action Agencies across the state to receive LIHEAP applications and provide recipient benefits.
A website providing overview of the program is available.
The federal government began providing home energy assistance in 1974. The U.S. Administration of Children and Families' Division of Energy Assistance in the Office of Community Services administers LIHEAP at the federal level.
The LIHEAP home heating program has two main components: Subsidy and Crisis. When funds are available, a third component to help with summer cooling costs is offered.
The subsidy component operates in November and December to help residents at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level pay home heating costs for which they are responsible either by direct payment or as an undesignated portion of their rent. In addition to income guidelines, eligible applicants may not have liquid resources in excess of $2,000 except when a household member has a catastrophic illness, in which case applicants may have as much as $4,000 in liquid assets if those assets are used for medical and living expenses.
The crisis component of LIHEAP operates from early January until the middle of March, or until all funds are expended. Clients must meet the criteria listed above and be in a crisis situation involving imminent loss of heating energy (applicants must provide a utility disconnect notice); have four or fewer days worth of fuel oil, propane, kerosene, wood or coal available; or, have received an eviction notice citing unpaid rent (applies to applicants whose heating costs are included as an undesignated portion of the rent. Households at or above 75% of poverty level must pay a portion or co-payment of the minimum amount necessary to alleviate the crisis.
The summer cooling program is only offered when additional federal or state funds are available. It provides eligible households with a one-time payment to the household's cooling (electric) provider. Air conditioners may be provided for households where residents are at risk for health problems associated with excess heat.
To be eligible for summer cooling a household must meet the eligibility requirements as described above. To be eligible for an air conditioner, the household must not have access to an air conditioner and meet one of these requirements:
- Have a member with a health condition or disability that requires cooling to prevent further deterioration as verified by a physician's statement;
- Have a member who is 65 years or older; or
- Have a member who is younger than 6.
For information, contact: CHFS Policy Development
Division of Family Support
275 E. Main St., 3E-I
Frankfort, KY 40621
Telephone: (502) 564-3440
FAX: (502) 564-9810
||What information do I need to apply?
When applying for LIHEAP assistance, you may need the following:
- Recent copies of your utility bills including the account numbers and names for all heating fuel sources and electric.
- A recent payroll stub or other proof of current gross income.
- Documentation showing income from Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, pension funds, disability, etc. You may obtain verification of your Social Security and/or SSI benefits by creating an account with the Social Security Administration's, my Social Security website.
- Final utility termination notice (if you've received a shut-off notice from your energy company).
- Proof of current address (e.g., an unopened piece of mail, rent receipt, lease or deed, property tax bill).
- Proof of total members living in your household (e.g., birth certificates, school records, etc.).
- Social Security cards (or numbers) for all persons living in your household.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.
||How do I report fraud?
Please report any information about fraud or misuse of LIHEAP benefits by calling the Office of Inspector General Fraud Hotline at 1-800-372-2970.