LIHEAP FAQ Sheets - LIHEAP Assistance

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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 Florida, LIHEAP is administered by the Community Action Agencies of Florida.

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

For more information about LIHEAP in Florida, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in Florida?

The Community Action Agencies of Florida 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 Florida, see the Florida state 2022 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 Florida defines a “crisis situation” as one where a household:

  • Is in danger of having their utilities disconnected.
  • Has received notice that their utilities are past due or delinquent.
  • Has a utility bill that has a due date that has lapsed.

A “life-threatening crisis situation” also qualifies a household for Crisis Assistance. This occurs when:

  • A household’s cooling or heating energy source has been disconnected.
  • A household is out of or nearly out of heating fuel or cannot get heating fuel delivered.
  • A household has other cooling or heating problems, such as repairs or paying a utility deposit.

For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment of $5,000.

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

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in Florida?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Community Action Agencies of Florida 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 heating or cooling benefit amount in Florida is $1,350, and the minimum annual benefit amount is $400 for both as well.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in Florida

To qualify for LIHEAP in Florida, 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 Community Action Agencies of Florida prioritize 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 Florida 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 Florida

LIHEAP applications can be submitted year-round. Eligible households can only apply for LIHEAP heating assistance from October 1st until March 31st and LIHEAP cooling assistance April 1st until September 30th each year.

To apply for LIHEAP in Florida, complete the following three 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.
  2. Choose how you are going to apply, whether online, by phone or in person. 
    Find your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) and contact information here.
  3. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.
    Access the Florida LIHEAP application through your local CAA.

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 your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA). Find your nearest CAA office here.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for Florida 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 and cooling

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 Community Action Agency where you applied directly to check your application status.

Click here to find your local office and contact information.

What Happens After You Apply for LIHEAP in Florida?

The Community Action Agencies of Florida will notify you within 15 days of receiving your application if you are approved to receive benefits. If you are eligible for Crisis Assistance, you will receive notice within 18 to 48 hours.

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 Florida LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by writing a statement to your local Community Action Agency (CAA) where you applied within 10 days of when you received the denial. Find your nearest local CAA office here.

The Department of Economic Opportunity does not have access to LIHEAP records and cannot process a denial appeal. If the CAA representative cannot resolve your issue, ask to speak to the Executive Director of the LIHEAP agency.

If you have questions about the appeal process, call (850) 717-8450 or contact your local Community Action Agency. Find your nearest CAA and contact information here.

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in Florida or require further assistance, contact your local Community Action Agency. Find your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) and contact information here.

You can also call the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program phone line at (850) 717-8456.

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.

Last Updated: September 16, 2022