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LIHEAP FAQ Sheets

Table of Contents 

What Is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program?

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides assistance for energy costs to low-income households. LIHEAP is a federal program that is administered by individual states, territories, and tribes. In The District of Columbia, LIHEAP is administered by the Department of Energy and Environment.

Learn more about LIHEAP by reviewing the federal program fact sheet here.

For more information about LIHEAP in The District of Columbia, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in the District of Columbia?

The Department of Energy and Environment oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for heating and cooling expenses to qualified households. Financial assistance can include payment for:

  • Past-due utility bills
  • Deliverable fuel (propane and wood)
  • Disconnection/reconnection fees
  • Repairs and replacements of worn parts on heating units
  • Home weatherization

For more information about LIHEAP’s heating assistance initiative in The District of Columbia, see the District of Columbia state LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.

About LIHEAP Crisis Assistance

LIHEAP Crisis Assistance, like standard LIHEAP benefits, is a cash grant provided to the utility companies of eligible individuals in certain situations.

If your household meets all the eligibility requirements above and has an energy-related crisis, you may qualify for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance.

The state of The District of Columbia defines “crisis situation” as one where a household:

  • Has already had their utilities disconnected by their service provider.
  • Has 5 percent or less heating oil remaining.

A “life-threatening crisis situation” also qualifies a household for Crisis Assistance. This occurs when a member of the requires energy for the use of medical life support and:

  • A household has been disconnected from energy service.
  • A household received notice of disconnection within 48 hours or less.
  • A household has 5 percent or less heating oil of capacity.

For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment of $750.

Learn more about Crisis Assistance on page 12 of the Detailed Model Plan here.

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in the District of Columbia?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Department of Energy and Environment will consider:

  1. Your household size and income for the month prior to your application
  2. The fuel type you need (electricity, propane, natural gas, or heating oil)

Also, whether you are eligible for regular LIHEAP payments or Crisis Assistance payments will influence your maximum benefit amount.

As of 2022, the maximum annual benefit amount for heating and cooling in the District of Columbia is $1,800 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $250.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in the District of Columbia

To qualify for LIHEAP in The District of Columbia, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of the state
  • At least one household member must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident
  • Have an out-of-pocket energy expense from an account opened in the name of the head of the household or their spouse
  • Have an annual income that is less than the LIHEAP income limit for your household size, which is no more than 150 percent of the established Federal Poverty Level. To view the annual income limits, click here.

The Department of Energy and Environment prioritizes households with elderly, disabled or young members. Elderly is considered 60 years or older, and young is considered five years old or younger.

Learn more about the LIHEAP financial eligibility requirements in The District of Columbia here.

If you or a member of your family participates in the benefit programs below, then you may automatically be eligible for LIHEAP based on your income:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Learn more here.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Learn more here.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Learn more here.

How to Apply for LIHEAP in the District of Columbia

Eligible households can only apply for LIHEAP assistance from October 1st until September 30th each year. LIHEAP applications cannot be submitted year-round.

To apply for LIHEAP in The District of Columbia, complete the following two steps:

  1. Gather the documentation and information you will need for the application.

Learn what documents and information you need to complete the process here.

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

Access the District of Columbia LIHEAP online application here.

Note that applications for Crisis Assistance, for households that meet the state definition of a crisis, can be submitted year-round.

If you have questions about the application process or require assistance, contact the Department of Energy and Environment at (202) 535-2600.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for The District of Columbia LIHEAP benefits, you will need to provide:

  • Personal and financial information about yourself and the members of your household
  • Details about your home and its heating

The state will need the following documents and information to confirm your eligibility for LIHEAP benefits:

  • Names, birth dates and Social Security Numbers for all household members
  • Utility bill information (vendor name and account number)
  • Residence information (landlord’s name, address and phone number, if renting)
  • Income verification for the last three months (pay stubs)

Learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process here.

How to Check Your Application Status

You can call the Department of Energy and Environment at (202) 535-2600 directly to check your application status.

What Happens After You Apply for LIHEAP in the District of Columbia?

The Department of Energy and Environment will notify you within 30 days of receiving your application if you are approved to receive benefits. All LIHEAP payments are made to the heating or energy provider directly. Benefit payments will not be sent to you.

How to Appeal a Denial of Benefits

If you are denied The District of Columbia LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by writing a statement to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) within 90 days of when you received the denial.

To begin this process, you can:

  • Call 311 and ask for a fair hearing.
  • Mailing or visiting the OAH office at:

441 4th Street, N.W.
Suite 450 North
Washington, DC 2000

Once the OAH receives the appeal, they will set up a hearing and notify you of the date, time and location.

If you have questions about the appeal process, contact the Office of Administrative Hearings:

You can also contact the Department of Energy and Environment:

  • By phone at 311 or (202) 535-2600
  • By email at liheapdc@dc.gov

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in The District of Columbia or require further assistance, contact the Department of Energy and Environment:

  • By phone at 311 or (202) 535-2600
  • By email at liheapdc@dc.gov

View or Download Our Free Guide

While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and compiled a guide that we believe is simple to use and easy to understand. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing detailed information on the process.

Our free LIHEAP Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply for LIHEAP, program eligibility and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.