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 Missouri, LIHEAP is administered by the Family Support Division (FSD). 

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

For more information about LIHEAP in Missouri, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in Missouri?

The Missouri Family Support Division oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for heating 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 and cooling units
  • Home weatherization
  • Blankets
  • Emergency lodging
  • Wood stoves

For more information about LIHEAP’s heating and cooling assistance initiative in Missouri, see the Missouri state 2022 LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.

Missouri’s LIHEAP program does not provide financial compensation for cooling expenses. However, it does assist with cooling emergencies if applicants qualify for Crisis Assistance.

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 Missouri defines a “crisis situation” as one where a household:

  • Has no more than 2 days (48 hours) of bulk fuel left,
  • Is in danger of having their utilities disconnected, or
  • Has already had their utilities disconnected by their service provider

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

  • A member of the household is a medical or health risk because of the energy loss,
  • A member of the household has a condition that requires the use of a medical device/medication that requires energy OR
  • A household has no more than 18 hours of bulk fuel remaining during winter when heating is required.

For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment of $800. For a crisis that occurs in the summer, the maximum payment is $300.

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

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in Missouri?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Missouri Family Support Division 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 in Missouri is $495 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $47.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in Missouri

To qualify for LIHEAP in Missouri, 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 $3,000 or less in retirement, investment, and bank accounts
  • 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 Missouri Family Support Division prioritizes households with elderly or disabled members. Elderly is considered 60 years or older. These households will be able to submit applications for LIHEAP benefits starting October 1st of each year.

Learn more about the LIHEAP financial eligibility requirements in Missouri 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 Missouri

Eligible households can only apply for LIHEAP heating assistance from October 1st until May 31st each year.

To apply for LIHEAP in Missouri, 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 on page 5 here.

  1. Choose how you are going to apply, whether online, by mail, by fax, or in person. 

To apply for LIHEAP online, complete the Application for Financial Help to Heat or Cool Your Home here and submit it electronically.

To apply for LIHEAP by mail, complete the Application for Financial Help to Heat or Cool Your Home and send your application to your local office. You can find your local LIHEAP agency here.

To apply for LIHEAP by fax, complete the Application for Financial Help to Heat or Cool Your Home and send your application to your local office. You can find the fax number for your local office at the bottom of the application.

To apply for LIHEAP in person, visit your local LIHEAP agency.

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

If you have questions about the application process or require assistance, contact your nearest LIHEAP Contracted Agency office. Find your nearest LIHEAP office here. You can also contact the Missouri Family Support Division at 1 (855) 373-4636 for assistance.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for Missouri 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:

  • Proof of Social Security numbers for everyone within your household (Social Security card, W-2, or award letter)
  • Copies of your utility and/or fuel bills, including any disconnection, notices that you have received
  • Residence information (landlord’s name, address and phone number, if renting)
  • Income verification (pay stubs)
  • Copies of the most recent federal tax returns for any household members who earned money through self-employment last month

Learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process here on page 5.

How to Check Your Application Status

You can call the Missouri Division of Family Services at (855) 373-4636 to check the status of your application. Alternatively, you can contact your local LIHEAP office. Click here to find your local office and contact information.

What Happens After You Apply for LIHEAP in Missouri?

The Missouri Family Support Division 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 Missouri LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision in person, by mail, by fax, or by phone within 90 days from the date you receive the denial.

To begin the appeal process, you must contact your local LIHEAP office. Find your nearest local LIHEAP office here. If you would like to apply for an appeal in writing, you can submit your request by mailing or faxing your local office.

If you have questions about the appeal process, contact the Family Support Division:

  • Phone: (855) 373-4636
  • Fax: (573) 526-9400
  • TTY: 711

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in Missouri or require further assistance, contact your local LIHEAP office. Find your nearest LIHEAP office and contact information here.

Or, call the Department of Health and Welfare benefits phone line at (855) 373-4636. 

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 19, 2022