HAZARD, Ky (WYMT) - Winter is more than a month away, but Tuesday marked the start of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP in Kentucky.
The recent cold temperatures mean higher heating bills are on the way. Staff with LKLP said it is a good time to kick off this statewide heating assistance program to combat those costs.
LKLP Executive Director Ricky Baker said while many people simply turn on the heat when it gets cold, it is not that easy for some.
"Literally you have children and elderly that are cold that without this type of assistance, they would not be warm this winter," said Baker.
LIHEAP helps qualifying, low income families pay for their electric. In order to receive help from LKLP, families or individuals have to make less than a certain amount each month. For example, a household of three making less than $2,116 a month qualifies for assistance.
"If you are eligible, then you receive some type of benefit. It is graded by your percentage of poverty, how much they get, and it is designed to subsidize your home heating costs for the winter," said Baker.
Judy Keen is also a representative with LKLP. She said she has already helped more than 40 people sign up for LIHEAP and that some of the faces she has seen are new.
"This morning I have done two new clients myself and my case manager has done several too because I guess of all the layoffs. We have had some new clients," said Keen.
The program is only offered in the winter. Those looking for assistance can apply until December 19th. Benefits will not be available again before January when LIHEAP enters its crisis phase, which means folks about to have their power turned off can get even more help than before.
LKLP officials advise those interested in signing up for the program to stop by one of their offices, call or visit their website.
A link to that site is available below.