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LEAP kicks off enrollment season

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Colorado's Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) began accepting applications for its 2015-16 season on Monday, Nov. 2. With an increase in applicant income qualification this season, more Coloradans will qualify for assistance with paying their home heating costs.

LEAP is a 100-percent federally funded program administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) 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. This year, applicant income was raised from 150 percent to 165 percent of the federal poverty level, which equates to $3,334 per month for a family of four.

"With the increase in income qualification this year, we hope to provide the opportunity for even more Colorado families to receive assistance in paying their home heating costs this winter," said Aggie Berens, LEAP manager. "Last year, nearly 103,000 Coloradans applied for LEAP, receiving an average benefit of $458 per household."

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; and 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. Please 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 to download an application. Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2016.

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