Residents struggling with home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which opened Nov. 1.
The federally funded LIHEAP program helps individuals and families pay heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. The program includes crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.
Income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are 150% of the federal poverty income level. For example, the income limit for an individual is $18,735; for a couple, the limit is $25,365; and for a family of four, it is $38,625.
- You must meet income guidelines
- You don’t have to be on public assistance
- You don’t need to have an unpaid heating bills
- You can rent or own your home
Households experiencing a heating crisis may be eligible for additional benefits through the LIHEAP crisis program. Emergency situations include:
- Broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced
- Lack of fuel
- The main heating source or second heating source (a source that is used to operate the main heating source or used if the main heating source is not working) has been completely shut-off
- Danger of being without fuel (less than a 15 day supply)
- Danger of having utility service terminated (you’ve received a notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days)
Residents may apply for LIHEAP online using COMPASS or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence.