Announcement from HHS Comes After Bennet Urged the Biden Administration to Increase Funding Last Month
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper announced Colorado will receive $64,075,983 for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help Colorado families cover home heating costs this winter. This announcement follows Bennet’s letter last month with a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release funds for LIHEAP as swiftly and at the highest level possible as global energy costs are projected to rise this winter.
Federal LIHEAP funding is a crucial lifeline that helps low-income households and seniors on fixed incomes pay their energy bills and stay safe during the winter. In Colorado, approximately 77,452 low-income households received assistance with heating and cooling costs through LIHEAP in 2021. Coloradans interested in learning more and applying for LIHEAP should visit HERE for more information.
“As global energy prices rise, this $64 million will help Colorado families stay warm and safe over the winter months, and avoid having to make difficult choices between paying energy bills or buying other critical necessities. No family should need to worry about how they're going to heat their home, and I’m glad the administration listened to our call to deliver relief to the American people,” said Bennet.
“Coloradans shouldn’t pay more for heat because of Putin’s war in Ukraine,” said Hickenlooper. “This program will lower energy bills and keep working families safe and warm.”
By assisting households with energy costs including home energy bills, minor energy-related home repairs, and weatherization costs to make homes more energy efficient, this LIHEAP funding will continue to keep Colorado families safe and healthy. According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, over 84,000 LIHEAP applications were approved for Low-Income Families across the state last year.
Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income, family size, and the availability of resources. Senior citizens and those receiving Social Security Disability or SSI benefits are encouraged to apply as early as possible, but applications will be open to everyone through spring of 2023 — or until the funding is exhausted.Bennet has continuously advocated for expanded assistance to meet the needs of low-income families and seniors to help cover energy costs over the winter season. Last year, Bennet joined colleagues in requesting information regarding the Biden Administration’s implementation of LIHEAP, and he helped pass the American Rescue Plan Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provided a total of $8 billion for LIHEAP nationwide. In 2020, Bennet urged the previous administration to quickly release millions in LIHEAP funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to lessen the economic impact of the pandemic on Americans struggling to afford their heating bills.