The state will begin accepting applications this week for the energy assistance program.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families says it will start accepting applications Tuesday for its annual Low Income Energy Assistance Program to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills. The agency says the primary groups assisted are people with disabilities, older adults and families with children.
We met Mark Akins, a father of two who has utilized the program before. "LIEAP comes in handy when it helps us pay the utility bills that we need to keep electricity going, heat going for our children and things like that," Akins said.
Income eligibility requirements are 130 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that's $2,628 per month. Applicants also have to be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills to qualify. Akins added this is helping people who "have jobs, we have income but sometimes it's hard to make all of the bills at once."
The agency says in a release that nearly 48,000 households received an average payment of $412 last year. The energy assistance is a once a year benefit.
Akins said, "If I didn't have that, there are times when my children might go without. It's a blessing. I consider it a real good blessing."
This program is federally funded and available in Missouri as well. Apply in Missouri here.
Dia Wall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.