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All About Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Updated : August 4th, 2020

The federal government offers several programs to low-income households to help them support their livelihood. One such presentation is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The LIHEAP helps qualified low-income families pay their heating and cooling energy costs (gas or electric utilities). But who qualifies for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program? 

In this article, we will guide you through the eligibility criteria for LIHEAP. But before that, let us have a detailed look at the aspects of the program. 

More About The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has two provisions: Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) and Energy Assistance/Regular Heating (EA).

The Energy Assistance provides one-time payment assistance for paying the heating bills from November through March. The Energy Crisis Intervention Program, on the other hand, pays fuel bills when the energy is threatened to shut off, or is shut off. 

The payment received will be based on the amount of money required to resolve the issue with the energy provider. The payment under ECIP is available during:

  1. Summer ECIP – This is available from June to September. The maximum amount paid under this program is $600. 
  2. Winter ECIP – This is available November to May. The maximum amount paid under this program is $800. 

LIHEAP mainly helps families who spend a major portion of their income on energy bills. 

Eligibility Criteria 

Eligibility requirements for the LIHEAP are based on household size, income, resources available, and responsibility for paying home energy costs. Some of the other requirements include:

  1. Should be a citizen of the U.S. or are legally admitted permanent U.S. resident
  2. Should be responsible for paying home cooling and heating costs
  3. The savings must not be more than $3,000 in retirement accounts, bank accounts, or other investments
  4. You or your family member must participate in any of the following programs:
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Needs-Tested Veterans Benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Note that the eligibility requirements may vary from one state to another. 

How to Apply For The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program?

You may apply for LIHEAP online through your local provider’s website. Make sure you are applying through the appropriate agency for the country in which you are residing. Check if there is an online application so that you can complete and submit it through the mail without requiring to visit the office in-person. For information about local providers, you can visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/liheap-state-and-territory-contact-listing. If you need some help with the application, you call toll-free number 1-866-674-6327. 

Note –

  1. Due to the surge in the number of applications and queries, many times, the numbers of local agencies may remain busy. Be patient, and keep trying to reach them.
  2. Many local agencies receive calls only during specific operating hours. Therefore, make sure you call only those hours to avoid waiting to be answered. 
  3. Local agencies receive applications, verify your eligibility, and directly make payments to energy firms on your behalf.
  4. Some LIHEAP local agencies require an appointment to assist with the application process. In such cases, you are required to schedule an appointment with the agency.

Required Documentation To Apply For LIHEAP

You are required to provide several documents while applying for LIHEAP. They include:

  • Recent home energy bill
  • Paychecks or other documents that show your gross income
  • Utility termination notice
  • Proof of citizenship or permanent residence
  • Social security card
  • Photo identification (including your household members)

Can You Appeal If Assistance Is Denied?

If your assistance is denied, you can file a LIHEAP appeal. To appeal, contact your local LIHEAP agency provider or your state’s Department of Community Services if any. 

Closing Thoughts

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can help you save huge amounts of money spent on paying gas or electric utility bills. If you qualify for this program but haven’t filed yet, then quickly apply as approvals for each month are limited. 

 

 

 

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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