Checking their LIHEAP application status is something most people do after applying for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. In some states or counties, it may be referred to as checking a HEAP application status (Home Energy Assistance Program) or a LEAP application status (Low-income Energy Assistance Program) because different agencies use different terms. The ways to check your LIHEAP application status vary from state to state and sometimes between counties within the same state, because each area is served by an independent LIHEAP agency.
When you look into your HEAP application status, you may find that the process is taking longer than expected. This may occur if you provide incorrect information, change addresses during the energy assistance application process or other factors that influence how long it takes for a LIHEAP application to be processed. Review the following sections to learn about checking LIHEAP application status or HEAP application status, including your responsibilities during the process.
Learn About Ways to Check a LIHEAP Application Status
If you wish to check your LIHEAP application status, you will find that your local LIHEAP agency likely provides one or more methods for doing so. When your energy assistance application status is newly submitted, the agency should provide you with information that will help you check on your petition status throughout the process. If this energy assistance status information is not automatically provided, be sure to ask the clerk to tell you how to keep up with the process.
You can send your LIHEAP application status requests to your local agency by phone, although agencies are frequently beginning to offer more ways for keeping up with your application. Calling an agency to ask about your application status is the most common way to find out whether or not your application has been processed. Keep in mind that you cannot check the status of a LIHEAP application without providing identification and other information as requested by the LIHEAP agency.
For more information on LIHEAP application status checking methods, download our comprehensive guide.
Common LIHEAP Application Status Processing Times
In most locations, your energy assistance application status can be checked at any point while the application is being processed. You may wonder, “Do I have to wait a certain time period before I can check the status of my LIHEAP application?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question may vary somewhat by location. As mentioned above, every LIHEAP office has its own ways of doing things, and this includes issues related to LIHEAP application status processing times. Note that even if you received energy assistance benefits from LIHEAP before, the agency’s procedure may have changed. If you have received energy assistance through another government program, the processing time may be completely different from LIHEAP.
However, every agency that issues LIHEAP benefits must abide by all energy assistance status procedures and rules outlined by the Division of Energy Assistance that manages and awards LIHEAP benefits. This includes the number of days the agency is allowed to spend on each energy assistance application. Your LEAP application status may progress more quickly if you applied for benefits due to a crisis situation, such as being threatened with a shut-off of your heating or cooling due to nonpayment.
You may not need to worry as much about your LIHEAP application status or processing times if you applied in a crisis situation or if your LIHEAP agency provided you with clear information from the beginning. Many LIHEAP agencies welcome calls about energy assistance application status and other questions regarding your request for help.
Is there anything I can do to rush my LIHEAP application process?
If you check your LIHEAP application status and the processing time is taking longer than you expected, you may be wondering if there is anything you or your utility company can do to make the process move faster. Usually, your LIHEAP application status reflects the true amount of time you can expect the processing to take, and there is not much you or your utility provider can do to rush the process.
Although it is tempting to ask your utility provider about your energy assistance status, remember that utility companies are separated from energy assistance status reports and applications because they are not directly connected to the government agencies that provide these benefits. Therefore, they have no power to make an LIHEAP application status move faster.
Your Responsibilities While Waiting for LIHEAP Approval
When waiting to hear the progress of your LIHEAP application status, you will have certain responsibilities that will help you maintain a good status with your utility providers. It is important to not let concerns over your energy assistance application status interfere with doing your best to keep your current utility bills up to date. Remember that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is not meant to cover your heating costs all winter or your cooling costs all summer. It is usually a once-only form of assistance.
Regardless of where you are along the LIHEAP application status process, note that just turning in an application for energy assistance will not prevent you from having your electricity or gas turned off for nonpayment. As mentioned above, the utility company will most likely not be aware of your energy assistance application status because it is not connected to the agencies that provide these benefits. Therefore, you must continue making payments or request a special payment plan even while you wait for energy assistance status updates from your LIHEAP agency.
Download our free informative guide to find out more about the LIHEAP application status and appeals methods.