West Virginia residents who need help with their home heating bills this winter can apply for another round of financial help from the Department of Health and Human Resources. The relief comes as the colder months are setting in and the economic future is uncertain, due to the pandemic.
Applications opened Monday for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, which will help pay heating bills for qualifying West Virginia homes for one month.
The heating assistance program occurs each year, but the DHHR said it expects more applications than normal due to hardships from the pandemic this year.
This season’s LIEAP program is funded through the CARES Act, federal COVID-19 relief aid distributed to states in the spring and summer, and is supplemented with a recent federal grant of more than $28.6 million, according to the DHHR.
Many LIEAP qualifying households received two additional heating support payments this year due to the pandemic. Additionally, money from the CARES Act was distributed to those who could not afford utilities during the first four months of the pandemic. After a voluntary hiatus, beginning July 1, West Virginia utility companies reinstated service shutoffs.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said in a news release that about 48,000 West Virginians will need heating assistance this winter.
To see if you qualify for West Virginia’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program, go to the website — wvpath.org.