More Seniors May Be Eligible for Food, Heating Cost Assistance

by admin on April 11, 2012

More Boulder County seniors may be eligible for food, heating cost assistance

Eligibility expansions now in effect

Boulder County seniors age 60 and older who may not have previously qualified for help with food and heating costs may now be eligible for assistance. Boulder County’s Department of Housing and Human Services is overseeing local expansions of both the Food Assistance and Low-income Energy Assistance Programs.

Theresa Kullen, eligibility program manager with the Community Assistance and Resource Services program at Boulder County Housing and Human Services, says the changes are welcome. “These expansions will help more low-income Boulder County seniors meet the rising costs of heating their homes and buying groceries,” she said. “We know the need is there, so our hope is to spread the word about these new opportunities.”

Food assistance is now available to seniors whose gross monthly income is less than $1,816 for an individual or $2,452 for a couple. Deductions from income can be made for mortgage, rent, and utility and medical expenses. The “asset test” is no longer used to determine eligibility for food assistance. This test previously made seniors ineligible for food assistance if the value of bank accounts, life insurance policies, or IRAs exceeded a certain amount. Qualification is now based only on income.

Approved applicants receive a debit card that can be used to buy produce, meat, dairy items, and boxed, frozen, and canned goods. The Food Assistance application is simple and short, and processing takes just two to three days. Seniors are encouraged to apply for this expansion now or find out more by contacting Shaula Lee at Boulder County Housing and Human Services at 303-678-6336 or slee@bouldercounty.org.

In addition, Boulder County residents age 60 and older who were previously ineligible for LEAP (the Low-income Energy Assistance Program) due to income limit reductions may now be able to get help with winter heating bills through the Senior Heat + program. This new program has gross monthly income limits of $1,670 for an individual or $2,246 for a couple.

The application deadline for Senior Heat + is April 30. Seniors who may be eligible should apply immediately or find out more by contacting Amy Armstrong at Boulder County Housing and Human Services at 303-678-6007 or aarmstrong@bouldercounty.org.

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