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 Montana, LIHEAP is administered by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. 

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

For more information about LIHEAP in Montana, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in Montana?

The Department of Public Health and Human Services 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 units
  • Home weatherization

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

Montana’s LIHEAP program does not provide financial compensation for cooling expenses.

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

  • Experiences an energy supply disruption because of weather conditions,
  • Has hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions exist in the household’s primary water or space heating and safety modifications are needed.
  • 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, or
  • A member of the household has a condition that requires the use of a medical device/medication that requires energy.

For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment of $9,999.

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

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in Montana?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Department of Public Health and Human Services 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 Montana is $3,732 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $149.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in Montana

To qualify for LIHEAP in Montana, 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.

Learn more about the LIHEAP financial eligibility requirements in Montana 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 Montana

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

To apply for LIHEAP in Montana, 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 10 here.

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

Find your nearest LIHEAP office contact information, and mailing address here.

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

Access the Montana LIHEAP application here.

If you have questions about the application process or require assistance, contact your nearest LIHEAP office. Find your nearest LIHEAP office here.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for Montana 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
  • A copy of your most recent heat and electric bills
  • Full bank statements for any open bank accounts and verification of any other resources such as Direct Express and employer payroll cards for all household members
  • A copy of photo identification for all household members 18 years of age or older and a copy of photo identification or birth certificates for any household member under 18
  • Income verification for the last three months (pay stubs)
  • Verification for any payments towards premiums for optical, dental, or health insurance(if applicable)

Learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process on page 10 here.

How to Check Your Application Status

You can call the LIHEAP office where you applied to directly to check your application status. Click here to find your local office and contact information.

What Happens After You Apply for LIHEAP in Montana?

The Montana LIHEAP office will notify you within 45 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 Montana LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by writing a statement to your local LIHEAP office where you applied within 90 days of when you received the denial. Find your nearest local LIHEAP office here.

If you have questions about the appeal process, contact the Department of Public Health and Human Services at (833) 317-1080. 

Need More Help?

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

Or, call the Department of Public Health and Human Services at (833) 317-1080.

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 requirements and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.

Last Updated: September 19, 2022