LIHEAP in Kentucky
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Kentucky LIHEAP is a federally funded assistance program designed to help qualifying low income households meet the costs of heating and cooling needs. By providing energy assistance to qualifying residents, the program protects the safety and wellness of more than 150,000 Kentucky families each winter. While assistance is generally only be provided in the coldest months of the year as well as on an emergency basis, benefits are sometimes provided in the summer months when funding allows.
If you are in need of utility assistance in Kentucky, it is important to know when these benefits are available as well as when you may apply for emergency assistance if your family has received a disconnection notice from the utility due to nonpayment. In addition to learning more about the benefits that are provided, you are strongly encouraged to review the eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive assistance as well as how you can go about applying for LIHEAP in Kentucky.
Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Kentucky
In Kentucky, heating assistance is the primary type of benefits that are provided to low income residents who are struggling to meet the cost of utility bills. Benefits are not meant to pay for the entire expected heating costs of a household, but rather aid in offsetting some of the cost that residents can expect to pay throughout the winter season.
This low income home energy assistance program operates in November and December of each year in order to provide a onetime payment to qualifying households. During this time, only subsidy assistance is provided and crisis assistance is not available.
If you need emergency utility assistance and you have already received a disconnection notice from your utility, it is important to know that the program provides crisis assistance from early January to mid-March each year, or until funds are expended. During this period of time, you can only receive benefits from this program if you are at risk of having your utilities disconnected due to nonpayment.
Kentucky LIHEAP, at times, will also offer cooling assistance during the summer months if funds are still available. Benefits are not available in the summer every year due to lack of funds. However, if funding is available, qualifying residents can receive a one-time payment on energy bills in order to help offset the cooling costs in the hottest months of the year. Some Kentucky residents may even qualify for window air conditions, however, additional qualifications must be met in order to be considered eligible for an air conditioner.
If you receive utility assistance in Kentucky, it is important to know that payments of benefits are never made directly to a household. Instead, the program pays the household’s utility provider directly. Benefits are deposited onto a household’s account to be used towards the payment of past, current and future bills.
What are the Kentucky LIHEAP eligibility Guidelines?
Before you apply for LIHEAP in Kentucky, it is important to review the eligibility requirements associated with the program in order to determine whether you may qualify to receive subsidy, crisis or air conditioning benefits.
The Kentucky LIHEAP program is only available to low income Kentucky residents. If you do not live within the state, your application will be denied. Additionally, every individual living within the residence must either be a United States citizen or a legal alien in order to qualify for benefits.
To qualify for utility bill assistance for low income families, your household income cannot exceed the income limits that are set by the state. LIHEAP income guidelines are based upon the current year’s federal poverty line and reassessed each year. Your household’s income limit will be determined by the number of people living at the residence. Residences with a greater number of occupants will have a higher income limit in comparison to smaller sized households.
If in need of emergency utility assistance, your household must have already received a disconnection notice from your utility provider due to nonpayment. Households that are at or above 75 percent of the federal poverty line will be required to pay a portion of the utility bill in order to receive crisis assistance. As stated previously, your household will only be eligible to receive benefits once per year from the program. If benefits have already been received, a household will not be eligible to receive further benefits until the following beneficiary year, which begins in November of each year within the state of Kentucky.
Kentucky LIHEAP provides free air window air conditioners to qualifying households in the years that the program provides benefits in the summer. However, in order to receive a free window air conditioner, the household must not have access to an air conditioner and there must be at least one member of the household that falls into one of the following categories:
- An individual who has a health condition or a disability that requires cooling in order to prevent further deterioration of health, as verified by a physician’s statement.
- A senior citizen who is at least 65 years of age.
- A child who is younger than six.
To learn more about LIHEAP eligibility, download our comprehensive guide.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Kentucky
In Kentucky, you cannot submit a LIHEAP application online and must instead contact 800-456-3452 to locate the Community Action Agency in your area that handles applications for your county. Applications must be submitted through that location in order to be accepted.
When applying for LIHEAP in Kentucky, you must provide documentation that will support and verify the information that you provided on your application. Without this documentation, your application could be delayed or denied. When applying for benefits, you may need to provide:
- Recent copies off your utility bills.
- Proof of income for all residents living within a household.
- Proof of income from Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, pension funds, disability etc., when applicable.
- Proof of your current address.
- Proof of identity for all household members.
- Social Security cards of all household members.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residents for all household members.
- Final utility termination notice, if applying for emergency assistance.
How much does LIHEAP pay in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, utility assistance amounts may vary based upon several factors, including household size, dwelling type, household income and current funding. However, you will be notified of the amount that is awarded to your household if you are found eligible for benefits. As stated previously, LIHEAP can only provide benefits to eligible households while funding is available. Therefore, it is important to apply for assistance early if you will need it.
Find out more about LIHEAP benefit payments in our free downloadable guide.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
After you apply for LIHEAP in Kentucky, you can check the status of your application by contacting the Community Action Agency that processed your application. General applications can take several weeks to process, however, due to the high volume of applications. Once a determination has been made on your application, you will also be notified as to whether or not your household was found eligible to receive benefits and the amount of benefits that have been awarded.