LIHEAP stands for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This is one of the many government assistance programs that is offered to all eligible individuals and households living in the US. The intent of this program is to help these individuals to pay their winter heating bills inexpensively. If you are from a low income family, you will get this assistance in form of cash grant. It is imperative to note that this cash grant is a one-time payment. To function, it is normally sent to the fuel provider or utility company that offers heating services so that your energy bill can be well taken care of. Based on your household’s income, size and fuel, these grants can range between $500 and $1500. Since this assistance is a grant, you will not have to repay it back. To the end to understand more about low income home energy assistance program, read this article to the end.
What Services Are LIHEAP Covered?
The above-mentioned program is multi-faceted thus have an avalanche of portions or sectors that offer different services. Some of the services offered include:
- The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) offers the much-sought after financial aid to all eligible household so as to lower their utility bills by a greater margin.
- The LIHEAP Weatherization offers energy efficiency upgrades to all low-income individuals free of charge. This goes a long way in reducing their utility bills significantly. These upgrades also helps in improving both the safety and health of all beneficiaries of this program.
- The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) chips in whenever an eligible household in in crisis. Here, they might intervene in case you have been disconnected from power for a period of say 24 to 48 hours. Better still, they can come through anytime a low-income household has received a service termination letter from their utility company. All these measures goes a long way in improving the welfare of all eligible individuals who might experiencing such energy –related crisis at one time or another.
- Energy budget counselling services.
- Sensitization on best energy efficiency practices. In addition, all eligible household are taught on how to use and even maintain installed weatherization materials.
Eligible Requirements For Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
To be eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, there is a number of requirements that you must fulfill. These include:
- Ensure that you are a U.S citizen or are a legally admitted immigrant
- Ensure that you are 18 years and above.
- The applicant must meet the income guidelines. These guidelines differ from one state to another. For optimal results, you can check those of your state and establish if you meet the requirements or not. Ideally, your household income should not be more than 60% of your state’s Median Income.
- You should not be a beneficiary of public assistance program
- You must be responsible for paying energy bills for the primary home heating source.
- You are able to rent a home or already own one.
Apply For Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
When applying for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, there are basically two ways to get started. Here, you can choose to apply either online or do it physically. As for the former methods, different states have different online tools that can help you apply for this program.
For instance, if you reside in Pennsylvania, you can visit compass.state.pa.us/compass.web/Public/CMPHome and get started. On the other hand, if you choose the latter method, you just need to visit your local county assistance office and then make an appointment to apply for the LIHEAP program. Here, you will be able given a form to fill and submit alongside with any other eligibility documents.
LIHEAP Public Hearing Schedules
There have been teleconferencing meetings that will be available for the public to participate in case they are interested in testifying about the proposed LIHEAP State Plan for 2022-2023.
Call in: 1-267-332-8737
In case you want to testified on the proposed State Plan at a public hearing, ensure that you call (717) 772-772-7906. If you are not within the Harrisburg area, ensure that you call (800) 692-7462. Better still, you can write your request and then send it to the following address:
Division of Federal Programs and Program Management,
Department of Human Services, CoPA HUB, Suite 240/250
P. O. Box 2675,
Harrisburg PA 17105-2675.
LIHEAP State Plan
LIHEAP final state plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2022 that was actually submitted to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. As we speak, this state plan is ready for viewing. To view this plan, visit dhs.pa.gov/Services/Assistance/Documents/Heating%20Assistance_LIHEAP/2022%20LIHEAP%20State%20Plan_FINAL%20Approved.pdf
In readiness for next year, there is the LIHEAP state plan for the fiscal year 2023. To view the draft of this plan, feel free to visit mass.gov/doc/fy23-liheap-state-plan-draft/download
How Long Will It Take To Receive My Benefits Assistance?
To establish whether you are eligible for the LIHEAP assistance, the local service agencies might take about 55 days. Thereafter, if your application see the light of day, it will take a 30 more days for your utility company to process your benefits.
In this case, it might take about 90 days before you can now start enjoying the LIHEAP benefits. To be on the safe side, there is a need for you to pay your bills until the EAP benefits reflects on your account.
In case you are receiving a direct pay benefit, it might take 4 months or 120 days from the date your benefit approval was processed and mailed to you. Therefore, there is no need to make any follow ups before the 120 days are over.
How Can I Appeal If I Was Denied Or I Believe My Benefit Amount Is Incorrect?
In case you feel disadvantaged or believe that the benefit amount awarded is not right, you have a chance to file an appeal. Once you file an appeal, you should send it to your Local Service Provider within a period of 30 days. On the other hand, the Local Service Agency will review your appeal and then send you a response within 14 days.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the Local Service Agency, feel free to ask for a formal review by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Here, you can liaise with your Local Service Provider and ask them to submit your appeal on your behalf. Better still, you can submit it directly to IHCDA. For optimal results, you should make this request within 30 days after receiving a response from the Local Service Provider.
Once the IHCDA receives your appeal, the Community Programs Manager will review the appeal and then respond to you within 14 days. When sending a formal appeal to the IHCDA, you should use this address:
Attn: Community Programs Manager – EAP
30 South Meridian St, Suite 900
Indianapolis, IN 46204.
What Others Kinds Of Utility Assistance Is Available?
In case you want additional utility assistance, feel free to reach out to the following organizations:
- Salvation Army
- Indiana 211 Partnership
- Catholic Charities
In case you need water assistance, consider seeking this assistance via the Water Assistance Program.