OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Human Services is now accepting online applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help low-income Oklahomans keep the heat on in their homes this winter.

Unfortunately, even as the program becomes available, some residents are still struggling to pay the bills because they don’t qualify.

“We’re just in a pickle and just can’t find anybody out there to help,” said Theodore Cline, a disabled veteran in Oklahoma City.

Cline is just one of likely many Oklahomans struggling to keep the heat on this winter.

He’s a disabled veteran living on social security with a CPAP machine. He said he stops breathing when he sleeps, due to sleep apnea.

After falling on tough times, he said his electricity is about to get cut off, which could be life threatening.

“I actually stop breathing when I sleep and if it wasn’t for the CPAP machine, I may not be alive,” Cline said.

The Oklahoma Human Service Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, applications are now available for situations like this.

“It’s basically a way to offset the cost of home energy for low-income households,” said Caleb Turner with Oklahoma Human Services.

The program comes this year after about 69,000 households used it last year. It also comes after multiple charges were added to bills of customers across the state to cover the costs of past winter storms and more.

“Low-income individuals are always struggling to keep warm during the winter,” Turner said.

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Unfortunately for Cline, that’s the reality. He claims he is no longer eligible for it after his social security went up. Turner said there are qualification standards based on certain factors like income, household size and so on.

Cline said he has signed paperwork proving a cut off would be life threatening. He said he just hopes that will help him get assistance as we go full steam ahead into wintertime.

“It’s a dire situation,” he said.

Find more information on the qualification standards, application and how you can receive help on the OKDHS website.