6:00: Morning News

DHHR accepting applications for home heating bill program

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Applications are being accepted for a statewide program to help West Virginians pay for their home heating bills.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources is collecting applications for the Emergency Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) through May 13 or until funds are exhausted.

Terri Vickers, lead coordinator with the DHHR, said the federally funded program is for residents whose primary source of heat is either gas or electricity.

“This program helps customers that have a high heating cost and low income,” Vickers said. “At this time, social security benefits and veteran benefits are excluded so this will help a lot of people.”

Residents must provide their shut-off notice when applying for the program. Those using other primary heating sources or bulk fuel may qualify for assistance if their heating fuel is at a low level.

Vickers said there’s a lot of people struggling from the last few years.

“Right now with the prices being high and everybody still recovering from the pandemic, this is very important to help people with their utilities because we get a lot of calls for help,” she said.

Households that received direct payment of regular LIEAP benefits must verify that the payment was used for home heating.

Vickers said eligibility for the benefits is based on income, household size and whether the household is responsible for paying its heating bill. The income limit for this fiscal year is 60 percent of the state’s median income.

The maximum allowable gross income levels for Emergency LIEAP Fiscal Year 2022 can be viewed here.

To qualify, households must meet all program guidelines and be in an emergency that will disrupt the primary heating source if not met.

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