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Low-Income Energy Assistance Program to expand



TOPEKA, Kan. – DCF will extend LIEAP deadlines and income limits to help Kansans pay for the energy they use.

Governor Laura Kelly says as part of her continuing efforts to help Kansans handle high utility bills due to the recent arctic weather, she announced on Thursday that she will expand the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program. She said the program will give an annual benefit to help households that qualify pay their winter heating bills. She said LIEAP mostly helps Kansans with disabilities, older adults and families with children.

“We know that many people face higher than normal energy bills because of the unprecedented winter weather in February,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Today, I am announcing further steps that will allow more Kansans to take advantage of the LIEAP program to pay their utility bills. My administration will remain in communication with our federal and local partners to protect Kansans from the impacts of extreme cold temperatures.”

Effective immediately, Gov. Kelly said the Kansas Department for Children and Families will extend the application deadline for LIEAP to May 28. Additionally, she said the agency will expand the income requirements from 130% of the federal poverty level to 150%. She said DCF will also review all previously denied applications during the 2021 LIEAP program year. Any cases that now qualify under the new income threshold and meet other eligibility criteria will get the benefit.

According to Gov. Kelly, to qualify for the program, applicants will be required to responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. She said the level of benefit varies according to household income, number of people living in the home, type of residence, type of heating fuel and utility rates.

Gov. Kelly said applicants need to have made payments on their heating bill two out of the last three months. She said those payments are required to be equal to or over $80 or the total balance due on their energy bills, whichever is less.