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SRS to accept applications for Low Income Energy Assistance Program
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TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services is accepting applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) through Thursday, March 3. The program opened Thursday.

LIEAP provides an annual benefit to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills. Individuals with disabilities, elderly persons, and families with children are the primary groups assisted. In 2010, 50,946 households received an average benefit of $714.92.

"The current weather conditions across the state remind us that a warm home is a necessity for every Kansan," said SRS Acting Secretary Rob Siedlecki. "We encourage those who are having a difficult time paying their heating bills to work with their utility company to ensure that their heat is not turned off. For those who qualify, we encourage you to apply for assistance from the LIEAP program."

To qualify, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. Income eligibility guidelines are set at 130 percent of the federal poverty level. Persons with incomes within the following guidelines may receive LIEAP benefits, listed as number of persons living at the address and the maximum allowable monthly income:

• One – $ 1,174

• Two – $1,579

• Three – $1,984

• Four – $2,389

• Five – $2,794

• Add $406 for each additional person.

The level of benefit varies according to household income, number of persons living at the address, type of dwelling, type of heating fuel, and utility rates.

Anyone receiving an SRS benefit (cash, medical, food assistance or LIEAP) will have automatically received an application packet in the mail by January 13, 2011, and they are encouraged to use the application and return envelope that is included to expedite processing. LIEAP applications are also available at local SRS offices or can be requested by calling toll-free 1-800-432-0043. Visit www.ks-energy-assistance.com to apply online.