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LEAP has funds to help with home heating costs

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Colorado's Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is accepting applications for its 2016-17 season.

LEAP is a 100-percent federally funded program administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services that provides cash assistance to help Coloradans pay a portion of 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. Applicant income may not exceed 165 percent of the federal poverty level ($3,341 per month for a family of four).

"Last year, nearly 98,000 Coloradans applied for LEAP, receiving an average benefit of nearly $389 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, applicants 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.

To find out if you qualify for LEAP, call toll-free at 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435). Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2017.

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