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LEAP to begin accepting applications Nov. 1 for home heating help | News

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LEAP to begin accepting applications Nov. 1 for home heating help
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DENVER – November 1, 2011 – Colorado’s Low-income Energy Assistance
Program (LEAP), which provides financial assistance with home heating bills, will
begin accepting applications Tuesday, November 1st and will continue to do so
until April 30, 2012.


LEAP is a federally funded program that provides cash assistance to help
families and individuals pay a portion of winter home heating costs. The program
pays the highest benefits to those with the highest heating bills and lowest
incomes by family size.


“Due to a decrease in federal funding, the Colorado Department of Human
Services had to make the difficult decision to reduce the income criteria for the
LEAP program from 185 percent to 150 percent of the federal poverty
guidelines,” explained Todd Jorgensen, director of LEAP.


According to Jorgensen, a family of four’s maximum household income may not
exceed $2,794 per month; previously that amount was $3,400.


“Understandably this change to LEAP’s income eligibility levels may cause a
hardship for many Colorado families and we encourage Coloradans not meeting
the new criteria to call the HEAT HELP line, 1-866-HEAT HELP, to receive
information on additional community resources.


According to Jorgensen, the average LEAP benefit is estimated to be $325 per
household. Last year, 149,199 Coloradans applied for LEAP, and 125,097
households received an average benefit of $373.


To qualify for LEAP, applicants must be responsible for paying heating costs
directly to an energy provider, fuel dealer or as part of rent; be a permanent legal
resident of the United States and Colorado or have household members that are
U.S. citizens.


LEAP applicants must provide a copy of valid identification and a completed
affidavit indicating that they are lawfully present in the United States. Valid forms
of identification include, but are not limited to:


1. Colorado Driver’s License or Colorado Identification card; or
2. United States Military Identification Card or Military Dependent’s
Identification card; or
3. United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card; or
4. Native American Tribal document.


As defined by the Colorado Department of Revenue, other forms of identification
may be required as well. For more information on lawful presence requirements,
contact the DOR or visit www.colorado.gov/revenue.


Completed LEAP applications can be faxed, mailed or delivered to the
appropriate county office. Potential program applicants may obtain an application
through the following:


* Call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to have an application
mailed .
* Visit any county department of social/human services across the state.
To locate your county’s office, visit the program’s Web site at
www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.
* Download and print an application from www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.

LEAP eligible households may also qualify for the Crisis Invention Program [CIP]
and the Governor’s Energy Office’s Weatherization Program. The CIP operates
year-round and provides assistance with a home’s primary heating source such
as a furnace or wood-burning stove. The Weatherization Program improves the
energy efficiency in homes throughout Colorado, thereby permanently reducing
heating costs.


To find out if you qualify for LEAP, call toll free 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-
8435) or visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap to view the most current program
application requirements.

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