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LEAP is here to help heat Colorado

LEAP works with Coloradans to make sure you have Heat all winter long. Applications are open now! | Paid Content

DENVER — As we get deeper and deeper into the winter months, you might notice your heating bill is becoming higher. 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.

Let’s Answer Some Questions

LEAP runs from November 1 through April 30th each year. It is a federally funded program available in all 64 Colorado counties.

Age is not a limiting factor to be eligible for LEAP benefits.

Older adults who are living on limited incomes often are faced with choosing between critical medications, groceries or paying their utility bills.

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.

Even caretakers of older parents, grandparents or family friends can call for information on the LEAP application process. They can call the hotline at 1-866-HEAT-HELP or go to the website: www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap

Credit: LEAP

How LEAP Benefits Older Adults 

LEAP does not only focus on your aging neighbors, but LEAP is here to take a tremendous burden off our fixed income population. Sadly, older adults often struggle to meeting their monthly expenses.  According to the National Council on Aging, on average about 21% of married and 43% of single individuals depending on Social Security for 90% or more of their income, making it harder to find the extra cash as the heating bill increases in our colder months.

Studies show older adults prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. As we are in the mists of a global pandemic, our older population is primarily at risk, and even more susceptible to illness doing the cold months.

LEAP does not just help off set the cost of the heating bill, it also helps maintain heating equipment. According to the National Council on Aging, 58% of older adults have not changed residences in more than 20 years and 75% of those intend to live in their current home for the rest of their lives. This means used and worn out equipment that cannot be fixed without LEAP.

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.

RELATED: Helping warm Colorado’s homes

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