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Increased energy assistance announced to help low-income Nebraskans

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A boost in federal energy assistance will help low-income Nebraskans over the next year.

The federal government is sending an extra $9.7 million beyond the usual allocation to the state for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, commonly known as LIHEAP.

The Biden administration recently announced the increased funding.

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The funding comes from a continuing appropriation of federal dollars and the federal infrastructure act. It amounts to about a 32% increase in the typical amount of money the federal government sends, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Eligibility requirements include an income at or below 150% of poverty level and proper citizenship or residency status. For example, for a family of three, the income threshold is $34,545, according to the state.

The program helps with heating and cooling assistance, year-round crisis aid, emergency furnace repair and replacement, fans and weatherization.

Individuals can apply at the ACCESSNebraska website or by calling 800-383-4278.

The program is federally funded and administered by the state. If you’re uncertain whether you qualify, the state encourages you to apply. There is no penalty should you be denied.

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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email: nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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