Program Helps Manage Energy Costs

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that helps low-income consumers pay their energy bills.

The LIHEAP program assists income-eligible households with home heating costs through two different programs: Subsidy (typically in November and December) and Crisis (typically January through March). A third component to help with summer cooling costs is offered when funds are available.

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 of 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. Eligible applicants may receive a one-time subsidy benefit.

When the crisis component begins in January, a household shall be considered to be in a home heating crisis situation when the household meets the basic LIHEAP eligibility criteria and (1) the household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the heat source; (2) the household has received a past due/disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heat source; or (3) the household’s home heating costs are included as an undesignated portion of the rent, and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent from the landlord.

A household is considered to be eligible for energy assistance when the household meets the basic eligibility criteria. This criteria includes:
(1) completion of an application;
(2) is responsible for home energy costs, directly or as an undesignated portion of their rent;
(3) have a combined household income, for the calendar month prior to the month of application, not in excess of 130% of the federal poverty level as listed in the Income Eligibility Guidelines;
(4) live in Kentucky when the application is made and apply in the county of residence; and
(5) not have liquid resources in excess of $2,000, or $3,000 if at least one person in the household is 60 or older: and/or disabled except for households where a member has a catastrophic illness. The amount may be $4,000 when the resources are being accessed for medical and living expenses. In addition to the above eligibility requirements, crisis applicants must be within four days of running out of fuel if wood, coal, propane, fuel oil or kerosene is the heat source or a disconnect/past due notice has been received from the vendor (example: past due notice, termination notice, final notice).

Applicants must bring the following information: 
(1) most recent heating bill, or verification that heating expenses are included in rent;
(2) metered utility bill (natural gas, electric, or water) as proof of address;
(3) Social Security cards, or Permanent Residence card (Green Card) for each member of household;
(4) proof of all household income from preceding month.

Individuals who are unable to apply for themselves may send an authorized individual to apply for them. If this is the case you should contact KRFDC. Both homeowners and renters who are responsible for their heating bills and have a low or fixed income are eligible.

Qualifying participants will receive an energy assistance voucher. Energy services include electric, gas, kerosene, propane or wood. Eligible participants do not need to have an unpaid energy bill or be out of fuel to receive energy assistance in the subsidy portion of this program. The benefit amount that each household receives will be based on its level of poverty and the type of fuel used for heating. All eligible households will receive a benefit until LIHEAP funds are fully depleted. Benefits will be made payable to the household’s primary or secondary heating fuel vendor.

Eligible participants can apply for LIHEAP at one of KRFDC’s four Outreach Offices. Note: you must be a resident of Clark, Estill, Madison or Powell counties to receive help through KRFDC. Also, the availability of LIHEAP assistance is not guaranteed.

For more information contact:

Clark County
Pat Guynn
32 Meadow Street
Winchester, KY 40391
Office hours M-F, 8am-4pm

Estill County 
Jaime Stewart
111 Collins Street
Irvine, KY 40336
Office hours M-F, 8am-4pm

Shelly Howard
, Director of Community Services
1506 E Irvine Street
Richmond, KY 40475

Madison County
Rae Jean Miller
1506 E Irvine Street
Richmond, KY 40475
Office hours M-F, 8am-4pm

Powell County
Linda Huettner
176 12th Street
Clay City, KY 40312
Office hours M-F, 8am-4pm

LIHEAP is a statewide initiative sponsored by Community Action Kentucky in partnership with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and is directly funded by the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

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