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Governor Announces $3.9 Million In Additional Energy Assistance

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today that $3.9 million in additional energy assistance will be made immediately available to low income families and the elderly. Earlier this month, Governor Fletcher released an emergency $2.5 million for cooling assistance.

"The extreme heat Kentucky has endured this summer poses a financial burden, in addition to health and safety dangers, for Kentucky's most vulnerable citizens," Governor Fletcher said. "This money will help thousands more families who need additional resources to keep cool during the hot weather."

The federal government has provided the additional $3.9 million to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The Governor has instructed CHFS to release those funds immediately.

U.S. Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that HHS will release $50 million in LIHEAP emergency funds for Kentucky and 11 other states, which have experienced hotter than normal weather this summer. The funding is allocated to the states most affected by this summer's extreme heat.

Households with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the one-time assistance. Homeowners or renters are eligible. Also, qualifying households must pay home cooling costs for which they are responsible either by direct payment or as an undesignated portion of their rent and have cash resources of no more than:

* $3,000 if at least one person in the household is 60 or older, or disabled.

* $4,000 if a member of the household has an illness which requires cash resources to be accessed regularly for medical and living expenses.

* $2,000 for all other households.

Kentucky's 23 regional Community Action Agency (CAA) offices will accept applications for cooling assistance until the funds run out. CAA administers LIHEAP through a contract between CHFS and the Kentucky Association for Community Action. Every county has at least one staffed CAA office.

Families wanting information on LIHEAP assistance can call their local community action agencies or the statewide community action organization toll free at (800) 456-3452. Operators there cannot take applications over the phone; they can only direct callers to their local community action agencies. Or log on to http://www.kaca.org/agencies/find_office.asp to find local CAA offices.


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