You might have heard about the LIHEAP program before, but a lot of people don’t fully understand the program’s services and impacts. Below we’ll be showing you exactly what LIHEAP does and who is eligible for assistance from this Federal program.
What Is LIHEAP?
LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and it aims at helping individuals and families in the low-income bracket with their home energy bills. Individuals that qualify for assistance may be eligible for help with their bill payments, reductions of their cooling and heating bills, help with energy crises, and in some cases, help with home repairs that are related to energy issues and weatherization.
LIHEAP allocates State block grants which are then divided into various local agencies in order for them to provide short-term assistance to members of the community that need it most. This federal program has made it possible for forces such as local businesses, electric utilities, and organizations committed to social service to join up and provide relief for home energy bills across the country.
What Are The Program Requirements?
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Individuals that need cash assistance for the cost of their home energy bills may be eligible for assistance from LIHEAP. You may also be eligible if you already receive assistance from programs like SSI, TANF, or SNAP. Your State or Local LIHEAP Office will be able to confirm eligibility. In certain cases, Veterans also automatically qualify for LIHEAP assistance.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program is aimed towards assisting low-income families across all States and Territories of the United States, regardless of race or religion status.
Families or individuals that wish to apply for LIHEAP have to show the need for financial assistance. Furthermore, the household’s income must meet the income requirements set by state and local LIHEAP offices, which are set according to current state median income guidelines as well as levels of federal poverty.
How to Sign Up
Once you have received confirmation that you are eligible for assistance from LIHEAP, you may contact the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) office on 1-866-674-6327 for help with your application process or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before heading over to your local LIHEAP office, make sure you take the following with you:
- Utility bill copies (3 month period)
- Proof of income
- Proof of other income when applicable
- Proof of residence
- Proof of family members residing in your family home as well as Social Security Cards (or numbers) for all family members
- Proof that you are a U.S. citizen, or have legal permanent residency.
Applicants can complete application forms at their local or state Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Offices from where they will be assisted.
As you can see, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program can help those in need when they need it most. We hope that this has helped you get a better understanding of LIHEAP and shown you how and where to apply for assistance when you need it.