April 8, 2020 (DENVER) — With still plenty of cooler temperatures ahead and families facing difficult times because of COVID-19, the Colorado Department of Human Services' Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) has extended its benefits beyond the April 30 deadline.
“We recognize there is a real need for the families and individuals in our state at this time,” said Theresa Kullen, LEAP manager. “We are extending the deadline to submit applications so we can help as many people as possible over the next few weeks.”
The program normally runs Nov. 1 through April 30, but the current state of affairs has created unusual circumstances.
“Applications will be processed as long as we have funding available,” said Kullen.
Applications can be accessed through LEAP’s website at www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap, which also links to the state’s Colorado PEAK system for online application. This consolidates resources in one easy-to-use location taking less time and creating a more efficient process.
As Coloradans recover from the economic and health challenges being faced, LEAP does not want to people to choose between “heat or eat” when community resources are available. To date, LEAP has helped more than 66,500 households with an average benefit of $372. While funds are not unlimited, LEAP does have funding to help more Coloradans as we navigate this challenging time.
LEAP, which is federally funded, provides one-time heating assistance to individuals, families and older adults to help cover the cost of utility bills. Residents with an annual income up to 60% of the state median income and an individual household monthly income not exceeding $2,371 per month or $4,561 per month for a family of four may be eligible for benefits.
For program eligibility, candidates must pay home heating costs directly to a utility company or landlord as part of their rent, meet the gross income limits, be residents of Colorado and contain at least one U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S.
Residents can also tap other resources such as repair or replacement of their heating systems. For more information, visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap or call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435).
Deputy Director of Communications