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While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the LIHEAP program and compiled a guide and the following answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
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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 Iowa, LIHEAP is administered by the Community Action Agencies of Iowa.
Learn more about LIHEAP by reviewing the federal program fact sheet here.
For more information about LIHEAP in Iowa, click here.
The Community Action Agencies of Iowa oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for heating expenses to qualified households. Financial assistance can include payment for:
For more information about LIHEAP’s heating assistance initiative in Iowa, see the Iowa state LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.
Iowa’s LIHEAP program does not provide financial compensation for cooling expenses. However, it does assist with cooling emergencies if applicants qualify for 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 Iowa defines a “crisis situation” as one where a household:
A “life-threatening crisis situation” also qualifies a household for Crisis Assistance. This occurs when:
For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment of $3,650.
Learn more about Crisis Assistance on page 12 of the Detailed Model Plan here.
To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Community Action Agencies of Iowa will consider:
Also, whether you are eligible for regular LIHEAP payments or Crisis Assistance payments will influence your maximum benefit amount.
As of 2020, the maximum annual benefit amount for heating in Iowa is $720 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $40.
To qualify for LIHEAP in Iowa, you must meet the following requirements:
The Community Action Agencies of Iowa 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 Iowa 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:
Eligible households can only apply for LIHEAP assistance from November 1st until April 30th each year. Households with members who are disabled or 60 years of age or older can submit applications beginning October 1st. LIHEAP applications cannot be submitted year-round.
To apply for LIHEAP in Iowa, complete the following three steps:
Learn what documents and information you need to complete the process here.
Find your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) office and contact information here.
Access the Iowa LIHEAP application through your local CAA office.
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) office. Find your nearest CAA office here.
When applying for Iowa LIHEAP benefits, you will need to provide:
The state will need the following documents and information to confirm your eligibility for LIHEAP benefits:
Learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process here.
You can call the Community Action Agency office where you applied to directly to check your application status.
Click here to find your local office and contact information.
The Community Action Agencies of Iowa 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.
If you are denied Iowa LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by writing a statement to your local Community Action Agency (CAA) office where you applied within 30 days of when you received the denial. Find your nearest local CAA office here.
If the CAA representative cannot resolve the dispute, you can request a hearing with the Department of Human Rights. To begin this process, write a letter for the CAA to forward to the Division of Community Action Agencies (DCAA).
Once the DCAA 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 Department of Human Rights:
If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in Iowa or require further assistance, contact your local Community Action Agency office. Find your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) office and contact information here.
You can also contact the Department of Human Rights benefits phone line at (515) 242-5655 or at:
Iowa Department of Human Rights
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
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.