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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 New Jersey, LIHEAP is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. 

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

For more information about LIHEAP in New Jersey, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in New Jersey?

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs 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 New Jersey, see the New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 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 $1,278. 

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

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in New Jersey?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs 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 in New Jersey is $1,278 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $118. These amounts apply to both heating and cooling assistance.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in New Jersey

To qualify for LIHEAP in New Jersey, 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 200 percent of the established Federal Poverty Level. To view the annual income limits, click here.

Learn more about the LIHEAP financial eligibility requirements in New Jersey 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 New Jersey

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

To apply for LIHEAP in New Jersey, 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 6 here.

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

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

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

Access the New Jersey LIHEAP application here. To submit an application by mail, fax, or email, send your completed application and verification documents to the address, fax line, or email associated with your local Community Action Agency.

Note that applications for Crisis Assistance, for households that meet the state definition of a crisis, can also be submitted until June 30th.

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. Or, call the Community Resource Hotline at (800) 510-3102.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for New Jersey 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:

  • Social Security cards from all household members
  • A copy of your most recent utility bill
  • A copy of your current lease agreement, mortgage, tax bill, or deed
  • Income verification for the last month (pay stubs)

Learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process on page 6 here.

How to Check Your Application Status

You can call the Community Action Agency office 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 New Jersey?

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs will notify you within 60 days after 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 New Jersey LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision within 30 days. If you are denied LIHEAP benefits, you will receive a determination notice that details why you did not qualify for LIHEAP. The notice will also include step-by-step instructions for requesting an appeal and the date that you must submit your request.

If you have questions about the appeal process, contact the Community Resource Hotline at (800) 510-3102.

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in New Jersey 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 New Jersey Community Resource Hotline at 1 (800) 510-3102.

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