michele gee.JPGNorth Dakota is getting a record $46.4 million from the federal government to help low-income residents cover heating costs this winter — more than twice what the state gets in a typical year.

The Biden administration is distributing an additional $4.5 billion nationwide for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, according to The Associated Press. Cold-weather states are receiving the largest share.

The funding boost is part of last year’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan coronavirus relief package. It has more than doubled the normal funding level of the program nationally.

The money is for the fiscal year from October 2021 to September 2022. North Dakota’s annual appropriation is $19.3 million, with an additional $27.1 million coming through the American Rescue Plan.

It’s the most the state has ever received for LIHEAP, according to the White House.

The program in addition to helping with heating bills also offers emergency assistance to avoid heating utility shut-offs, furnace repair and replacement services, and weatherization services.

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