A perfect storm of cold weather and high energy costs is heading towards Kansas household heating bills this winter.
According to the US Energy Information Administration and the Kansas Corporation Commission, national gas costs are expected to increase by 30% while energy costs are expected to increase by 6%. They explain that the high consumption of natural gas and energy due to the winter storm Uri in February 2021, the high demands for natural gas caused by the heat waves this summer, the energy shortages in Europe and Asia and the decline in domestic production, all combined, will lead to higher costs for energy and natural gas. be higher than normal this winter.
“This pressure on already stressed family financial situations is concerning,” said DCF secretary Laura Howard. “The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is ready to help the Kansans with the Low Income Assistance Program (LIEAP). “
LIEAP provides an annual benefit to help eligible households pay their heating bills in winter. The disabled, the elderly and families with children are the main groups assisted. Applications for the program will be accepted from Monday January 3. In 2021, 38,750 households received an average benefit of $ 1,389, an increase from 2020, when approximately 34,000 households received an average benefit of $ 960.
To be eligible, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. Income eligibility requirements are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty line. The level of benefits varies depending on household income, number of people living in the dwelling, type of residence, type of heating fuel and utility prices.
Applicants must have paid their heating bill two of the last three months. These payments must be equal to or greater than $ 80 or the total balance owing on their energy bills, whichever is less.
Applications for the program were mailed to households that received energy assistance last year. LIEAP applications are also available at local DCF offices and through partner agencies from January 3. They can be requested by calling 1-800-432-0043. To apply online, visit https://cssp.kees.ks.gov/apspssp/sspNonMed.portal. For more information, visit http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/ees/Pages/EnergyAssistance.aspx.
Applications will be accepted from January 3 at 5 p.m. on March 31.
Determination of income eligibility:
|Persons residing at the address||Maximum gross monthly income|
|+1||$ 568 for each additional person|
Funding for the Low-Income Assistance Program is provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Service through the Federal Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program.