LIHEAP stands for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. The program aims to keep families safe by assisting those in need with their energy costs including home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and energy-related minor home repairs. The Federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides funds for the program which are funneled down to each state and the counties within each state to reach people across the country.
Who is eligible for LIHEAP?
The eligibility requirements for LIHEAP vary by state, however, generally you must need financial assistance for home energy costs. To determine if you are in need, the program typically looks at your household size and maximum income level per year. In most cases, you must be a specific percentage below the state median income. For example, in California, you must have an annual household income that is 60% below the state median income. For a single person household, that amounts to $26,049 per year. While for a four-person household, the amount is $50,094.
How do you apply?
LIHEAP is administered through energy service providers, so you will need to find one in your area and apply with them. You can find the contact for your local low-income energy office by clicking here. You will need to visit the LIHEAP office and apply in person or download the application and send it through the mail.
What do you need to apply?
To apply, you will need to show a valid, government-issued id, a social security card, a current energy bill, and recent proof of income. However, requirements may vary by state. Proof of income can often be in the form of current paycheck stubs, social security benefits, unemployment check stubs, TANF printouts, child support printout, food stamps printout, proof of no income, etc.
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Here’s more on LIHEAP assistance. There are several types of services available to those who qualify, including:
- The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) which offers a one-time helping hand in paying a utility bill.
- LIHEAP Weatherization provides low-income households with free energy efficiency upgrades which will help to lower monthly energy costs. They can also help to improve the safety and health of a household’s occupants.
- Counseling: You may be able to access energy budget counseling and education on weatherization measures.
- Crisis Intervention: A crisis situation is one in which a household is at risk of having their energy source disconnected. For example, if you have received a 24-hour disconnect notice or a notice that your service will be terminated. Another example could be if you have a life-threatening situation in the household, like a combustible appliance. LIHEAP can help you resolve these types of situations.
Additionally, some states offer other programs which can help. For example, California has a LIHEAP funded program called ‘Solar for all California.” It has helped to install rooftop photovoltaic solar systems on more than 1,000 low-income households in the state at no cost to the homeowner. These help to provide a long-term solution to high energy costs. So you never know what might be available, it’s worth checking out!
Is LIHEAP right for you?
LIHEAP may be able to help you if you answer yes to any of these questions.
- If you installed energy efficient upgrades, could you lower your energy costs?
- Are you in need of help with your energy bills?
- Are you experiencing an energy crisis?
Get the energy assistance you need
LIHEAP can be a helpful place to turn for women who are in need of energy assistance. Whether you need one-time help to make ends meet, help in a crisis, or a long-term solution through full weatherization of your home, it’s worth checking out the program. You may not even know exactly how weatherization can help but by visiting your local office, you can schedule an appointment for a representative to visit your home. They can go over the improvements and how they can help to cut your costs. And if you’ve just had a rough month, they may be able to help with that, too.
Find an office near you and see if you qualify by following this link.
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