State heating assistance won’t begin for a week and a half, except for low-income elderly Iowans who are already covered. John Burnquist, who works for LIHEAP, the state’s “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program,” says after November 1st, families can apply for heating assistance if they meet income guidelines.
A household of four making 26-thousand-475 dollars a year or less can qualify. There’s bad news for two thousand Iowans who qualified for state assistance to pay their utility bills last winter but didn’t get the help because money ran out.
President Bush requested 150-million for the LIHEAP program, Congress raised it to 300-million, the President signed it, but he’d have had to declare an emergency to actually release the money. There may even be a question whether money will be appropriated for this winter as Congress hasn’t approved the budget yet. To sign up for heating assistance, clients will need proof of their income for the last year, and their energy bills. Also after November 1st, utilities can’t shut off a customer for delinquent bills ’til spring, but the customer must apply for that cutoff protection.