Cold Means a Heating Crisis for Some
PHOTO: Federal crisis energy assistance funds are now available for those who face having their heat disconnected.
January 8, 2013
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The prolonged cold snap here in Kentucky is a chilly reminder to many that their heating bills could break the bank.
For those who need help with keeping their heat on this winter now is the time to act. The window has just opened, as of Monday, for low-income families to apply for crisis home-energy assistance.
Nichole Simmons, who lives in Sheperdsville, received help last year, and knows how critical the assistance can be.
"Basically it was four kids and Christmas and, that or rent."
The federal program, commonly known as LIHEAP, helps those who face a disconnect notice from their utility company, or are about to run out of their bulk fuel, whether it's propane, coal, kerosene or wood. Community Action Kentucky, which administers the program, expects around 100,000 Kentucky families to apply for crisis assistance, which provides up to $400 to cover the utility bill.
To be eligible, family income must be at 130 percent of the federal poverty level or below. For a family of four that's an income of roughly $2500 a month before taxes.
Last year was a mild winter in Kentucky, yet there was still a "large demand" for help, according to Community Action's energy program director, Mike Moynahan. He says people should apply early because the crisis funds are given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Certainly with a colder winter we're going to see even a larger demand. People should realize that there are going to be lines, starting early on."
The program runs through March 31, or until the funds run out, which Moynahan says usually comes first. For more information on crisis heating assistance call 1-800-456-3452.