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More federal money available for heating assistance this winter

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Lt. Governor makes funding announcement during stop in Lebanon

By The Staff

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo visited Lebanon Oct. 22 to announce that the state would receive more than $70 million in federal funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Last year, Kentucky received more than $30 million for LIHEAP. "Whether you have gas heat, fuel heat or electric heat, the price of all them have gone up this year," Mongiardo said. Mongiardo announced the program to an audience of a few dozen people outside the Central Kentucky Community Action Center in Lebanon. This past winter, LIHEAP helped hundreds of thousands of Kentucky families, including 749 in Marion County. Families' eligibility for LIHEAP is based on their income, and Central Kentucky Community Action Center will start accepting applications for the subsidy portion of the program between Nov. 3 and Dec. 12 The program has three parts: a subsidy for families in need, a crisis funding for families whose heat is in danger of being turned off and weatherization assistance. Marion County families received an average of $218 per family in assistance last winter through the energy assistance program, according to Lynne Robey, the community services and LIHEAP director for the Central Kentucky CAC. "We want families to know there is some help with energy prices," Mongiardo said.   LIHEAP eligibility The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will soon be accepting applications to assist low-income families with heating expenses during the winter.  Families also must demonstrate they are responsible for paying their home heating costs, and that they do not exceed liquid asset requirements, which vary if at least one person in the household is 60 or over or disabled or for households with a member who has a catastrophic illness. Applications for the subsidy program should be filed between Nov. 3 and Dec. 12. Potential applicants should call Central Kentucky Community Action to find out when they should apply. Applications for crisis funding should be made between Jan. 5 and March 31, 2009, or until all funds have been expended. Applicants must provide the households' most recent heating bill or verification that heating expenses are included in the rent, social security cards or permanent residences cards for every member of the household, and proof of all household income from the previous month. For more information, call Community Action Kentucky at 1 (800) 456-3452 (TTY is available for the hearing impaired) or Central Kentucky Community Action at (270) 692-6411.  Central Kentucky Community Action is located at 334 Hood Avenue in Lebanon.   Low-income energy assistance Because the program is income dependent, families will be required to document their household income as part of the application for the program. According to Central Kentucky Community Action, applicants must bring their most recent electric or natural gas bill, a statement from their fuel company (if they use propane, kerosene, or fuel oil), or verification that heating expenses are included in the rent, proof of income for the entire family for the previous month (check stubs for wages paid during the previous month) and social security numbers and birth dates for everyone in the household.  All applicants must verify their address with a postmarked envelope or bill, and new applicants must show a picture ID.   Here are the income maximums to be eligible for the program: Household (# of people) Gross monthly income 1                    $1,127 2                    $1,517 3                    $1,907 4                    $2,297 5                    $2,687 6                    $3,076 7                    $3,467 8                     $3,857