Utility Bill Assistance



Kentucky Low Income Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)

Lower income household in Kentucky can receive financial assistance for paying their regular utility bills from The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The resource also provides emergency cash grants, and residents can apply for them from this federal government program. Various forms of financial assistance and cash grants from LIHEAP can help customers with their heating and/or cooling bills.

The United States Department for Health and Human Services provides funding to community action agencies across Kentucky, and these agencies both accept applications and distribute money to qualified low income families and individuals. The non-profits provide benefits to the needy, with an emphasis on children, elderly, and the disabled in Kentucky. On average almost 200,000 families across the state receive grants from LIHEAP every year.

There are two main components, the crisis and subsidy programs. Another component can help pay cooling and air conditioning bills during the summer, but this is more susceptible to funding issues.

The Kentucky LIHEAP subsidy component operates during both the summer (if there is funding) as well as in November and December. Residents who are below 130 percent of the federal government poverty guidelines will generally be able to qualify. Other assets, including liquid cash, are considered when reviewing an application. For example, applicants can’t have cash resources of greater than $2000. Some exceptions may be made if a family has a member with a serious illness.

Grants for paying an utility bill in a crisis are available from January to March. All aid is distributed on a first come-first serve basis, so apply early before funding runs out. In order to apply for LIHEAP crisis funds in Kentucky, an applicant needs to be in a crisis situation involving imminent loss of home heating or utility service. They need to have a disconnect notice. The applicant needs to have four or fewer days worth of propane, fuel oil, propane, coal, kerosene, or wood available.






Financial assistance may be provided for air conditioning as well as summer cooling bills. The Kentucky summer cooling bill assistance program provides qualified low income households with a one-time grant. All money is paid out directly to the household's utility provider. In addition, air conditioners may also be provided for lower income or senior households where residents are currently experiencing or may be at risk for health problems associated with excess heat. To be eligible for an air conditioner from the state, an applicant can’t currently have access to an air conditioner, and they also need to meet other requirements such as have a household member who is 65 years or older or younger than 6, or they need to have a member with a serious disability or health condition that requires cooling.

If you need assistance, think you may be eligible, or want more information on LIHEAP in Kentucky, then contact your local community action agency. They run the program for the state and federal government.

For regular monthly utility bills, the minimum annual heating assistance benefit provided to qualified individuals is $70 and the maximum annual cash assistance benefit is $250. The crisis component will provide up to $400 towards the payment of an electric, utility, heating or natural gas bill. Or if you are about out of fuel during the winter, then the state of Kentucky will provide the household with either 200 gallons of kerosene or propane, two tons of coal, or two cords of wood so that they can keep their home warm.

Another organization to call for information on this service, in addition to your local community action agency, is the Kentucky Division of Family Support. Dial (502) 564-3440




By: Jon McNamara


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