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How to Apply for LIHEAP

Many families in America are interested in submitting a LIHEAP application to receive utility assistance. Thankfully, the program is available in every state, thus, all residents can apply for LIHEAP. There are several methods of obtaining a LIHEAP application form: online, in-person or by mail. Some states may offer a fax or email application process, although this is less common. Residents must provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding their income, utility payments and identities when filling out the forms. Information about each member of the household must be included in order for LIHEAP representatives to award the appropriate amount of benefits.

After submitting their LIHEAP application, residents can check their status. In many states, applicants who submitted their applications online can access them with their login or personal information. Sometimes, however, Americans are denied LIHEAP benefits. In such cases, there is an appeals process that denied applicants can go through. While several factors determine the acceptance or denial of applicants, the primary factor is the limited government funds available for the program.

Learn How to Apply for LIHEAP Assistance

There are several resources available for state residents seeking information on how to apply for LIHEAP. Because the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program varies in each state, residents will find that applying online may be easier in one state while applying in-person is easier in another location. Some states or counties even restrict residents to one method of completing the LIHEAP application process. When applying, it is essential to supply accurate and up-to-date information. All members of the household and sources of income must be included in the application. If there are any members with disabilities, extra documentation may be asked to be requested. Anyone requiring help with an application should contact the local LIHEAP administer for accommodation or assistance. For more details on the application process, applicants can click here to download our comprehensive guide to LIHEAP today.

How to Apply Online

Many states supply a portal or submission system to complete the LIHEAP application online. Depending on the state, applications can either be found on a state’s U.S. Department of Health website or another state benefit website. Oftentimes, those seeking to apply for LIHEAP online are asked to create a login with a unique username and password. This way, they can access their application status and benefits easily once they are approved. Sometimes, online applicants are required to go to a HEAP office for interview. The interviewer will inform the applicant of any other information he or she needs to provide for their case or to finalize their HEAP application.

By Mail

Sending in the LIHEAP application by mail is also permitted in many states. Prospective recipients can either download and print out an application or call their local LIHEAP office to send them one. Many energy assistance program websites allow residents to first fill out the forms digitally then print them out. This method allows for less confusion with legibility for representatives. However, unlike forms found within online portals, the progress of digital documents cannot be saved and continue later. Sending LIHEAP application forms through the mail can also be risky as mail can get lost. It also tends to take much longer than online or in-person submission due to the mailing and shipping process.

In-Person

Many states allow residents to apply for LIHEAP in person at local offices. Most offices require applicants to make an appointment ahead of time. It is essential to bring all the necessary documentation to the appointment. Important documentation includes identification, pay stubs, utility bills, disability benefits and rental agreements. In some states, all household members are required to attend the appointment. Others only require one applicant to be present.

LIHEAP Locations

Most states have several LIHEAP locations for applicants to access. LIHEAP is a product of the U.S. Department of Health, thus can be found within some U.S. Department of Health or Human Services buildings. Social service offices also provide energy assistance services. Community centers and standalone LIHEAP offices can also be found throughout many cities to provide energy assistance services to interested residents. The program assists more than 100 Native tribes, so many offices are found within a reservation or tribal territory.

The easiest way to find a local LIHEAP location is to complete an online search for “LIHEAP office near me.” Depending on the county, city and state, residents will find different results for LIHEAP office locations. Highly populated states and cities are likely to have more locations.

How to Check your LIHEAP Application Status

Applicants can access their LIHEAP application status by various means. Residents who submitted their applications online are usually able to get information about the status of an application by logging in with the same credentials they signed up with. In other states, applicants can input their information and application or confirmation number and receive an email about their status or be transported to an online portal to view it.

Often though, Americans can call their local office to check their HEAP application status. Applicants who do not have their verification or client number associated with their account may find this method much easier than checking online.

Learn About LIHEAP Denial and Appeals

Many applicants to the program unfortunately receive a LIHEAP denial notice. There are many for why this happens. First, states can only offer energy assistance benefits while funds for the program are available. This means that if a state disburses all of its LIHEAP funds early in the fiscal year, applicants can get their LIHEAP denied due to the state’s financial inability to assistance anyone’s energy needs. In addition, some residents simply do not qualify. This can occur because:

  • A family’s income exceeds eligibility limits.
  • The family has already been granted energy assistance benefits earlier in the year.
  • There was inaccurate or missing information in the application documents.

LIHEAP Appeals Process

Residents who are denied benefits have the right to make a LIHEAP appeal. This process begins by requesting a fair hearing by a local HEAP office. At a fair hearing, the applicant, HEAP and a judge review the decision made by the LIHEAP. Residents can request this hearing by going to a local office with a filled out request for a fair hearing form, calling or mailing the request to the office. Applicants can learn more about the LIHEAP appeals process when they download our free guide to LIHEAP today.

Different ways you can apply

Some states may allow you to apply for energy assistance online through a state website. This is typically the case for states that operate LIHEAP at the state level rather than the county level. The department accepting applications can vary from state to state. However, generally the state Department of Health and Human Services will host and process the application. To apply for LIHEAP online, you typically need to make an account with your state’s benefits program. For example, the state of Vermont requires you to make an account with myBenefits, operated by the Department for Children and Families Agency of Human Services.

Once you create an account, you can begin the process of applying for LIHEAP online. You should expect to provide personal and financial information throughout the application, including your name, gender, marital status, physical and mailing address and more. You will typically need a Social Security Number (SSN) as well. Then, you will need to provide information for every member of your household. Depending on the state you live in, you may or may not be required to include income information for all members of the household, including children. You may also be asked for information regarding how often everyone in the household shares meals and whether anyone sometimes lives elsewhere. You may be asked about your work history or whether you have any disabilities as well on the HEAP application.

On your online LIHEAP application, you should provide information about your income sources. This can include what was on your most recent paychecks, how often you work and contact information for your employer. You will also be asked about how much you pay in rent, energy and other bills to determine your financial need. The level of detail required can vary from state to state, with some requiring a breakdown of income sources and others requiring more general information. Once you complete the application, you should be able to submit it online. You may be required to verify additional information by mail or in person, depending on your state.

Download our comprehensive guide to learn more about the HEAP application process.

In some cases, you can apply for LIHEAP by mail or by email. This may be the case if your state operates LIHEAP at a county or district level rather than at a state level. This is also mostly limited to states that have a statewide application form, even if they administer benefits at a local level. To find the printable HEAP application, you may have to visit your state’s DHHS website. In some states, such as Vermont, you can call a number to have a form delivered to you.

When you receive your LIHEAP application form, you should fill it out completely. You will typically be required to fill out information for all members of your household. Be prepared to supply the same information that is requested in the online section above. You may additionally have to include documents like recent pay stubs and utility bills to complete your HEAP program application.

Contact your local LIHEAP office to determine whether you should submit originals or copies of documents included in the application. Mark your envelope and mail it with the appropriate postage to the address indicated on your form or your nearest office. After submitting your application, you should receive a decision on whether you receive LIHEAP benefits within a few weeks, depending on your location.

In some cases, you can submit your Home Energy Assistance Program application through email. Rather than including copies of necessary documents, you should include scans and attach them to the email as necessary. Research your municipality’s specific instructions to determine if you can email your application and where you should send it.

Many states and municipalities require you to apply for energy assistance in person. This is particularly true of states that operate LIHEAP at the local level. States like Texas require you to make an in-person visit to an agency to get approved and submit an application for benefits. In some cases, you may be required to bring everyone in your household or provide signatures from the adults.

You can find LIHEAP application locations on your state’s DHHS or LIHEAP website. You may be required to schedule an appointment with the LIHEAP agency first. In that case, you can either schedule an appointment online or by calling the office directly, depending on your state. Schedule an appointment with the agency nearest to you and begin gathering necessary documents. This may include pay stubs, rental verification if you rent and utility bills to demonstrate your need for assistance. In some states, you must locate a printable LIHEAP application and fill it out to bring with you to your appointment. In others, you will not fill out an application until you arrive at the appointment.

Arrive at your appointment on time to complete the fuel assistance application. Bring all your necessary documents with you to the appointment, as well as any household members that are required. Depending on your state’s process, it may take more than one visit to complete the application process.

Once your application is processed, your power provider will typically receive a single one-time lump sum payment. This payment may be to settle debts or to cover part of your electricity bills for the season. To learn more about how to apply for low income electricity benefits, download our comprehensive guide on LIHEAP.