Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard announced this week that the agency is adding a second opportunity for Kansans to apply for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP). The new application period begins May 1 and runs through May 29.

“Given the current circumstances we want to be responsive to the needs of low-income households,” Howard said in a press release. “I urge anyone who may have missed the original application deadline or who may be having financial difficulty because of the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of this opportunity.”

LIEAP provides an annual benefit to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills. Persons with disabilities, older adults and families with children are the primary groups assisted. In 2019, about 33,000 households received an average benefit of $576.

To qualify, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. Income eligibility requirements are set at 130 percent of the federal poverty level. 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. Eligibility is based on an applicant’s heating bill. If an applicant needs assistance covering electric costs, they need to request the benefit be split between the two utilities.

Applicants need to have made payments on their heating bill two out of the last three months. Those payments must be equal to or exceed $80 or the total balance due on their energy bills, whichever is less.

If an applicant has already received a LIEAP benefit during the 2020 LIEAP season they are not eligible to receive another payment.

Income eligibility is based on the number of people living at the address and their gross monthly income. For one person, the maximum gross monthly income is $1,354, for two people it is $1,832, for three it is $2,311, for four people living at an address it is $2,790, for five it is $3,748, for six it is $3,748, for seven it is $4,227, for eight it is $4,705, for nine it is $5,184, for ten it is $5,663, for 11 it is $6,142, for 12 it is $6,621. For each additional person, $479 is added to the maximum gross monthly income amount to be eligible.

The application will be available beginning May 1. Visit www.lieap.dcf.ks.gov to apply and for additional information.