A state program designed to help those with low incomes pay their heating bills is underway.
Applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program are being taken from Jan. 20 through March 31.
Households that received aid last year from the state Social and Rehabilitation Services program have already been mailed applications.
Other households may request an application from their local SRS office and other helping agencies.
You can also have an application mailed to you by calling toll-free 1-800-432-0043.
In 2003, the LIEAP program provided benefits to 38,342 households, with the average assistance check being $359.
"LIEAP often helps elderly persons, persons with disabilities, or people out of work or in low-wage jobs make ends meet," said SRS Secretary Janet Schalansky.
To qualify, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. Income eligibility guidelines are set at 130 percent of the federal poverty level. The level of benefit varies according to household income, the number of persons living at the address, the type of dwelling, the type of heating fuel and the utility rates.