DENVER — Right now, as we are working from home, home schooling our kids, and trying to stay healthy we are relying on our home’s heat, water and energy. Unfortunately, some Coloradans are forced to choose between paying the heat bill and paying the grocery bill or foregoing critical medications.
Did you know that Colorado has a heat assistance program? LEAP, it stands for Low-income Energy Assistance Program. Individuals and families can apply for assistance online through the LEAP website at www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap or call the 1-866-HEAT-HELP hotline to find other options to apply. Some county offices are open and have applications available.
This program is not too good to be true! LEAP runs from November 1 through April 30th each year. It is a federally funded program available in all 64 Colorado counties. The program was started in the 1980s and has helped thousands of Colorado residents over the years. Last year alone more than 76,500 households were helped with LEAP benefits.
Here’s what you need to know to apply
- A household’s monthly income must fall within 60% of the state median income level to qualify for benefits. This equates to $2,619 or less for single households and households of 4 with a monthly income of $5,038 or less.
- To qualify, the household must have at least one U.S. citizen or lawfully permanent resident of the U.S. residing in the home, as well as being residents of Colorado.
- The household must be responsible for paying home heating costs, either directly to a utility vendor or to a landlord in the form of a surcharge to their rent; or in some circumstances when their heat is included in their rent.
How LEAP works
- LEAP provides one-time payments to assist individuals and families with their heating costs. Additional services may be available through partnering organizations and other state resources including furnace repairs and replacement.
- Benefits are usually paid directly to the utility vendor.
LEAP is expecting greater numbers of applications this year as the pandemic continues and many individuals are unemployed, furloughed and struggling from limited budgets. The program strives to protect those most vulnerable - older adults, low-income families, individuals with disabilities, and anyone living on a limited income. Applications are now being accepted, so apply online or call the 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) hotline for more information on other application options.
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