Colorado's Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) began accepting applications for its 2017/2018 season Wednesday.
LEAP provides cash assistance to help Coloradans pay a portion of their home heating costs during the winter months. The program pays the highest benefits to those with the highest heating bills and the lowest incomes by family size. LEAP is 100 percent federally funded and administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)
"Last year, nearly 98,000 Coloradans applied for LEAP and received an average benefit of nearly $344 per household," said Aggie Berens, LEAP manager. "We want to make sure that all eligible Coloradans are aware of LEAP's assistance, so they can receive some help with heating costs this winter."
To qualify for LEAP, an applicant's income cannot exceed 165 percent of the federal poverty level ($3,383 per month for a family of four), and they must be responsible for paying heating costs directly to an energy provider, fuel dealer or as part of their rent. They also must be permanent legal residents of the United States and Colorado, or have household members who are U.S. citizens.
LEAP-eligible households may also qualify for programs that inspect a home's primary heating source, such as a furnace or wood-burning stove, and weatherization upgrades that improve a home's energy efficiency.
The State of Colorado also offers a rebate of property tax, rent and heat expenses to low-income seniors and disabled persons. Visit the Colorado Department of Revenue's website at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/tax/property-tax-rent-heat-credit-ptc-rebate-file for more information and the rebate application booklet.
To find out if you qualify for LEAP, call toll-free at 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) or visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap to view the most current program application requirements and download an application. Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2018.