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If you are interested in getting help with your energy bills, you may want to see if LIHEAP can help you. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program requirements can change from state to state. In some states, you can send a single online application to start the process of determining eligibility and getting benefits. In others, there is a pre-screening process before you can turn in your application or you need to apply in person, scheduling an appointment first. By turning in a Home Energy Assistance Program application, eligible individuals can get financial benefits and save money on heating and cooling at home.
Make sure you check your state’s website to learn about the requirements and how to apply. Below you will find the general requirements to apply for energy benefits online, in person or by mail. Keep in mind that not all states have all three methods of applying, you may only have one depending on where you live.
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.
In some cases, you can apply for LIHEAP by mail or by email. States that operate through county or district offices and have a statewide application form will generally offer this option. To get a printable application form, you will probably have to visit your state’s DHHS website. In some states, such as Vermont, you can call a number and have a form delivered to you.
When you get your LIHEAP application form, fill it out completely and include information on all members of your household, as well as the information mentioned in the online application method above. You may have to also include documents like recent pay stubs and utility bills to complete your HEAP program application.
Contact your local LIHEAP office to know if you need to submit originals or copies of documents with the application. Mark your envelope and mail it with the appropriate postage to the address indicated on your form or your nearest office. After turning in your application, the decision on whether you get LIHEAP benefits will be sent within a few weeks to your home, depending on your location.
In some cases, you can turn in your Home Energy Assistance Program application via email. Instead of including copies of necessary documents, you should include scans and attach them to the email. Research your municipality’s specific instructions to determine if you can email your application and where to send it.
Many states and municipalities ask that you apply for energy assistance in person, especially in states that operate at a local level. States like Texas ask that you make an in-person visit to an agency to get approved and turn in an application for benefits. In some cases, you will need 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 need to schedule an appointment with the LIHEAP agency first either online or by calling the office directly, depending on your state. Schedule an appointment with the agency nearest to you and start gathering the necessary documents, which may include pay stubs, rental verification if you rent and utility bills to show that you need help. In some states, you have to get 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 with 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 and if you are approved, your power provider will get 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.