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Heating Assistance Available For The Winter

Missouri Department of Social Services

Low-income households can receive assistance to heat their homes this fall and winter by applying to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) offered by the Missouri Department of Social Services.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that assists low-income families keep their heat turned on during winter. Last year, over 9,000 households in Southeast Missouri received assistance.

The program is split into two branches. There is the Energy Assistance Program which provides a one time payment, and the Energy Crisis Assistance Program which helps families whose heat has been shut off.

Payments can range from $45 to $450. The amount of assistance provided is based on household size, income and the fuel used.

Keri McCrorey is the community services director for the East Missouri Action Agency. The EMAA handles applications for the Southeast area. She said applicants must be at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

“They have to enter all of their family and their family demographics, along with who their utility vendors are,” she said. “What income is being brought into the home, and then basically signing it.

Applicants are required to bring proof of their income, as well as provide their social security information.

McCrorey said applications for the Energy Assistance program will be accepted until March 31. Applications for the Energy Crisis Assistance program will be accepted until the end of May as long as funding is available.

“If we have monies available we can help people up until May 31, but most of the time the money is long gone before the May 31 deadline,” she said.

More information about the program can be found on the Missouri Department of Social Services website.

Jessica Penland was an intern reporter for KRCU in 2014.