Cooling assistance pic

A new LIHEAP Summer Cooling assistance program is available to residents who need help with power bills. The program is offered by the Kentucky River Foothills Development Council as the latest resource to aid families during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

LIHEAP offers a similar program during the winter months, according to program director Shelly Howard.

“Typically, during the LIHEAP programs from November to March, approximately 1,500 households in Madison County receive utility assistance,” she said.

Given the current pandemic, Williams said residents are in need.

“Many individuals and families need assistance right now due to either reduced income or a complete loss of income,” Howard explained. “We have already received applications from people who have not received LIHEAP assistance in the past.”

The program has two components, subsidy and crisis

Concerning subsidy, households applying must meet income and other guidelines. Eligible households may qualify up to $200.

Regarding crisis, the household must meet eligibility guidelines and be in a home energy crisis. Households must provide a disconnect notice, an eviction notice for non-payment of rent (if the electric cost is included in the rent), or 10 days of running out of pre-paid electric. Eligible households may qualify for up to $600.

“This assistance can be applied multiple times until the $600 threshold is reached,” Howard explained.

If households are eligible for both programs, the benefit awarded is based on an individual’s income. Benefits are paid directly to the fuel vendor in the form of a voucher.

Eligible applicants must supply the following information:

• Social security card or Permanent Residence card, also known as the Green Card

• Proof of all household’s income from the preceding month

• Most current electric bill or statement from the landlord if the electric expenses are included in the rent or a statement from the utility company if the applicant participates in a pre-pay electric program

• Account number and name on the electric bill account

The income guidelines are:

Family Size  Income Monthly         

1 $24,242$2,020

2 $31,702$2,641

3 $39,161$3,263

4 $46,620$3,885

5 $54,079$4,506

6 $61,538$5,128

7 $62,937$5,244

8 $64,355$5,361

9 $65,734$5,477

10 $67,132$5,594

Eligible households – homeowners and renters can call (859) 623-6514 or email for more information.

“We encourage everyone who thinks they may qualify to apply for assistance,” Howard said. “It’s important to note that if a household has a zero balance on their electric bill, they are still encouraged to apply. Assistance will be applied toward your next bill(s).”

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