Energy assistance programs are available to low-income individuals and families. These benefits are awarded on a first come first served basis, but are generally reserved for those with medical conditions where prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures might pose a health risk.
The Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is one such program that helps families by covering their home energy costs. Here is what you should know about applying for LIHEAP.
LIHEAP was established as a means to aid low-income families with home energy costs. Heating a home in the winter, or cooling one in the summer, can be costly. LIHEAP funds connect millions of Americans with crucial energy assistance.
In order to qualify for LIHEAP assistance, you must need financial assistance. This need is determined by the federal government, and varies from state to state.
If you or a family member participates in certain other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other needs-based Veterans benefits, you may be automatically eligible. You will need to contact your state agency to determine this.
Although program benefits vary from state to state, the following assistance is often awarded:
- Funds to subsidize heating and cooling costs.
- Intervention in the case of weather-related, fuel supply shortages, or other household energy-related emergencies.
- Low-cost residential weather-proofing and other related home repairs to safely increase the efficiency of a household’s use of energy, thus lowering home utility bills and making homes more comfortable.