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LIHEAP Program for Single Mothers

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The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides federal assistance for single mothers. Many of them are not able to afford their energy bills every month. Qualified renters and homeowners are given the funds they need to power their homes and provide for their families.

What it is:

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was created as a response to rising energy costs in the ‘70s. The program pays energy assistance to individuals and families living in low-income homes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) distributes the funds to each state, which provides assistance to those households that qualify.

The weatherization program is part of the LIHEAP services. Energy professionals are sent to visit your home and install energy-efficient appliances. The program, if available in your state, is designed to help single mothers reduce their monthly energy bills. LIHEAP recipients can use part of their funds for weatherization or home energy repairs.

In the event of a disaster, LIHEAP funds are used to pay for temporary shelters, transportation and utility costs in addition to heating and cooling repairs.

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How it works:

To qualify for this program, you must earn an income below the 150% federal poverty level or below 60% at the state level. The requirements are not the same in every state, so contact your local LIHEAP agency for more information.

Also, there is a limited availability of funds each year. Only one household is allowed a one-time annual payment. If funds run out, a crisis program may open up later. Check your local agency to learn more.

The amount of help you get depends on your level of financial need. For single mothers, their needs vary based on income, location, and family size. Location is a factor because some states receive more funds than others, so they are able to distribute more funds.

You will not receive enough funds to pay for a full year of energy service. Generally, you receive assistance to pay part of the bill.

Many recipients are elderly or disabled individuals and single mothers with preschool-aged children. Recipients of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) may qualify for the LIHEAP program automatically. Public housing residents may not qualify based on their location. Check a local office to see if you are eligible.

How to apply:

Contact the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) line at 1-866-674-6327 or energy@ncat.org. Contact the local LIHEAP agency to request energy assistance.

Some states allow you to apply online, while others require you to download an application. Find a directory of online applications through the LIHEAP Clearinghouse. Visit the website link for more information.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program works for single mothers who cannot meet rising energy costs. Weatherization is a supplemental program that provides additional energy assistance. There is no reason why you should not stay comfortable during the summer or winter months. Contact LIHEAP to find a local agency and review the requirements in your state.

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