“Where can I find a LIHEAP office near me?” is a common question people ask after they search for places to help pay utility bills. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) offers heating and cooling assistance to low income households in states across the country. This program can also offer weatherization assistance to eligible applicants. It is usually necessary to find a nearby LIHEAP location because petitioners for energy assistance may be required to complete all or part of the LIHEAP application process in person.
Many of the places that help with utility bills are offices that provide additional types of social services. Your local LIHEAP office will share how and when to apply to increase your chances of receiving LIHEAP benefits, as funds are usually limited and only awarded during specific months of the year. Keep reading to learn about the different kinds of LIHEAP energy assistance locations and how to find them.
Community Action Program Locations
When searching for places that help pay light bills, you will likely see one or more agencies or programs linked to the national Community Action Program. These are public and private non-profit LIHEAP application locations that help encourage lower-income families and individuals to be self-sufficient. One way this is accomplished is through comprehensive social programs like LIHEAP that help bridge gaps in a household’s budget. Getting help from a LIHEAP office affiliated with the Community Action Program can help keep low-income families from falling farther behind on their energy bills or losing utility service due to non-payment.
To learn how to make a LIHEAP appointment or take advantage of the many services offered by your nearest Community Action Agency, download our free guide. In it, you will learn more about these agencies and how they can help your family take care of your home’s heating or cooling costs.
Tribal LIHEAP Offices
Tribal LIHEAP locations can be found in many states and U.S. Territories and are focused in areas that have large Native American populations. If you are wondering, “Is there any difference between tribal and non-tribal LIHEAP locations?” the answer is yes, although the differences are not drastic. In some ways, it may be easier to get help from tribal LIHEAP application locations because they may have access to additional funds that are reserved for Native American tribes recognized by the state or federal governments. If you have a tribal affiliation, these are among the best places to help pay utility bills because tribes must allocate funds in a way that helps the neediest people first.
However, if it turns out that your state or region does not have a tribal LIHEAP office, you can still apply for benefits at another kind of energy assistance provider. Simply try searching for “LIHEAP locations near me” and you will see some of the other options listed on this page. Many locations, including tribal offices, may offer ways to check an application status, either in person, on the phone or online, depending on the provider
LIHEAP Offices and Catholic Charities Offices
When looking for places that help pay electric bills, Catholic Charities is one organization that frequently appears on resource lists. Also known as Catholic Charities USA, the organization has been helping alleviate the effects of poverty for over 100 years. Even if your nearest Catholic Charities location is not an official LIHEAP office, the charity can help put you in contact with the LIHEAP agency that serves your area. Note that these LIHEAP locations do not require clients to be affiliated with the Catholic church or any Christian denomination. They provide services without regard to religion or other identifying factors.
Local Housing Authorities and Energy Assistance Locations
In many communities, one of the places that helps with utility bills is the local housing authority. These federally-funded agencies are responsible for providing housing assistance programs and housing-related benefits to low income residents of a certain geographic area. Not every housing authority is considered an official LIHEAP office. However, if a housing authority is one of a state’s official LIHEAP locations, the caseworkers can instruct you on how to file an application to receive LIHEAP benefits. If it is not a LIEHEAP application location, a housing authority caseworker can tell you how to find an official provider.
Energy Assistance Offices
Energy assistance offices are great places to help pay utility bills via LIEHEAP because they are designated solely to assist people with energy-related needs. If you have access to one of these official energy assistance locations, they are a good way to find out about all the types of energy assistance programs that may be available to you. Even if you fail to qualify for LIHEAP, there may be other options to help you catch up on your utility bills or avoid disconnection of services.
Note that these LIHEAP locations go by many different names across America. Examples of the names used for energy assistance locations include the following:
- LIHEAP/Weatherization Intake Site
- LEAP Office
- HEAP Office
- Department of Energy and Environment Offices (DOEE)
Departments of Social Services
The Department of Social Services may not be the first place that comes to mind when seeking places to help pay utility bills, but these government and non-profit organizations are usually equipped to help with a wide range of financial issues. Even if your Department of Social Services is not considered an official LIHEAP office, the workers there will know how to direct your request for a LIHEAP application.
As with certain other LIHEAP locations, your local Department of Social Services may go by several other names. If you are having trouble finding your LIHEAP office or your Department of Social Services, try searching for one of these other terms:
- Department of Family Services
- Public Assistance Office
- Local County Office
Note that your Department of Social Services is not only an energy assistance location, but can also help if you are having trouble buying food, clothing or other basic necessities. Each Department of Family Services seeks to help with issues that affect the entire family.
To find out more about locating your nearest Department of Social Services or any other LIHEAP office listed above, click here to download our helpful free guide to LIHEAP today.