With heating costs continuing to rise, some help is available for low income individuals and families, according to Rondel Sprouse with the DHHR in Grantsville.

Reduced heating rates by 20% may be available for some who are already in a data bank. The Department of Health and Human Resources will be mailing applications for the state's special reduced residential service rate program for home heating in early October.

Eligibility for this discount program, an individual must have been a recipient of services from one of the following programs from November 2003 to March 2004: Supplemental Security Income (children under age 18 are not eligible); West Virginia Works, or food stamps (recipients must be 60 years of age or older).

"This program is automatic for those who qualify," said Sprouse.

Special one time assistance for heating bills is also available through LIEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program), with applications being taken in December. Assistance is based on income levels:

One person household $973 monthly allowable income

Two person household $1,313 monthly allowable income

Three person household $1,654 monthly allowable income

Four person household $1,994 monthly allowable income

Sprouse said "Applicants who are most vulnerable receive this one time check."

Another program is Emergency LIEAP, which is special assistance when the heat source is being disconnected.

For further information call you local DHHR office.

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