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Low-income heating program gets big boost

Those who need help paying heating and fuel costs this winter will get a boost in their fuel subsidy, thanks to a $75 million funding hike in a heating assistance program for low-income people.

Gov. Steve Beshear, in a news conference Thursday, announced that people who qualify will receive a 40 percent increase in their subsidy for bulk fuels.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services receives federal funding for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, and then distributes it to Kentucky Community Action agencies. Those groups determine whether applicants are eligible for the program and contracts with vendors to deliver the fuel.

The maximum benefit under the program will increase from $250 to $400.

The increase in the subsidy will probably cover sharp increases in fuel costs this winter, according to the cabinet.

People interested in applying for the program should contact their local Community Action agencies. For more information, visit, or call 1-800-456-3452 to find a local Community Action agency.