- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Assistance is now available to help low-income families in Wisconsin with winter heating bills.

The assistance is available from the State Energy Office through May 15. The state estimates that 227,000 households will take advantage of the program this season, up from the nearly 225,000 who were in it last year.

Eligibility is based on income, the size of the household and home heating costs. A family of four must earn less than $48,367 to qualify.

The state pays benefits directly to fuel suppliers to offset home heating costs.

Other services, including emergency furnace repair and emergency fuel assistance, are also available.

Applications can be submitted through county social service offices, tribal governments, and private nonprofit agencies.

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