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Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) | Eligibility, Benefits & How to Apply ?

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)


What is Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) ?


The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps families meet their household energy needs. LIHEAP helps low-income families pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. This cash grant is a one-time payment and is sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider for crediting your bill. It is a grant and does not need to be repaid. These grant incomes range from $500 to $1,500 depending on household size and fuel type.

LIHWAP helps eligible households pay sewer bills and water to restore or maintain access to wastewater and drinking water services. It aims to restore service in the federal fiscal year 2022 (October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022) and pay water and wastewater services dues. This program is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in the Commonwealth. Local service delivery is provided by 20 Local Administrative Agencies (LAAs).

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a federal program, area blocks and states apply for grants and allocate available funds to approved households using locally specified formulas.

Objectives of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program


LIHEAP provides assistance to eligible households (low-income earners) with the goal of meeting their immediate household cooling or heating needs. Commonly referred to as fuel assistance, LIHEAP provides assistance paying a portion of winter heating bills.

What Services Are Available Under LIHEAP ?


LIHEAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's and Families Administration, Office of Community Services. There are several parts of the program that help accomplish this goal, such as :
  • Energy budget consulting.
  • Instruction on the proper use and maintenance of established weatherization measures and education on basic energy efficiency practices.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides one-time financial assistance to an eligible family which helps in balancing the utility bill of the family.
  • The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) provides support to low-income families who are in crisis. (An example of this would be a 24-48 hour disconnect notice to a family)
  • LIHEAP Weatherization provides free energy efficiency upgrades to households (low income earners) to reduce their monthly utility bills.

Eligibility of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)


The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will serve those income-eligible customers who are billed directly for their services and families whose service is in arrears or has been terminated for non-payment.

The income guidelines under this program are comprehensive, although the program involves low income. The annuity of a family's income is based on approximately four weeks of income. See the attached income eligibility and benefit level chart for an overview of income ranges and potential benefits by household size.

Eligibility is based on age 18 or older, size of household and gross annual income of each household member. Household income cannot exceed 60% of the estimated state median income. Renters and homeowners whose heat costs are included in the rent can apply to the agency in their area.

Eligible Activities and Funding Requirements


LIHEAP provides support for the cost of the primary heat source through a fixed benefit amount, which includes (but is not limited to) the following sources:
  • Propane
  • Oil
  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Kerosene
  • Wood
Waivers are granted automatically if eligible :
  • Electric bills (Investor owned electric utilities)
  • Gas bills (Investor-owned gas utilities)
  • Telephone bills
Payment for fuel delivery or actual use is made directly to the heating vendor (for primary energy needs) from 1 November to 30 April.


LIHEAP Income Eligibility​ 2022


​Eligibility for services may vary depending on other factors and sources of income. Please contact your local energy agency to determine your eligibility under the program.

Persons In Household​

​Monthly Income

​1

$2,564.73

​2

$3,353.87

​3

$4,143.02​​

​4

$4,932.17

​5

$5,721.31​

​6

$6,510.46

7

$6,658.43 

8

$6,806.39 ​

9

$6,954.36

10

$7,102.32​


How to Apply For Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) ?


Application for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is free. Free assistance is available for completing applications under this program, so beware of scams by people who charge "application fees". If you need help completing an application under this program, contact your local service provider for free assistance.
One application serves as the application for both the LIHWAP and LIHEAP programmes. Families can Apply for Energy Assistance Online or through appointment. First time applicants must apply in person to the fuel assistance agency in their area and families must apply each year. Families can apply under the program from November 1 to April 30 of the year. Families who have been denied assistance can appeal through the local fuel assistance agency. Applications are taken by 20 Local Administrative Agencies (LAAs).

Vendor Notification and Billing


Each vendor will be required to complete a vendor information sheet and sign a vendor agreement, both of which will be returned to the LAA for payment to their customers. Customer information will be uploaded regularly to a vendor-specific online portal when a direct-billed water or wastewater service customer is determined to be LIHWAP eligible. The seller will be informed about the initial upload. Then the seller has to enter whether the account is active or not. After the seller has entered the data, the LAA will send the payment to the seller within 30 days.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 and the American Rescue Plan created and will fund a low-income household water assistance program to be administered through the Department of Housing and Community Development.

LIHEAP Contact


  • Energy Assistance Program Phone Number (toll-free) : 1-866-674-6327
  • E-mail : energy@ncat.org
You can contact the LIHEAP office in your state.

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