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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 South Carolina, LIHEAP is administered by the Community Action Agency of South Carolina.
Learn more about LIHEAP by reviewing the federal program fact sheet here.
For more information about LIHEAP in South Carolina, click here.
The Community Action Agency of South Carolina oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for heating and cooling expenses to qualified households. Financial assistance can include payment for:
For more information about LIHEAP’s heating and cooling assistance initiative in South Carolina, see the South Carolina state 2022 LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.
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 South Carolina 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 $1,000.
Learn more about Crisis Assistance on page 12 of the LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.
To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Community Action Agency of South Carolina will consider:
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 South Carolina is $850 for heating and $775 for cooling. The minimum annual benefit amount is $200 each for both heating and cooling.
To qualify for LIHEAP in South Carolina, you must meet the following requirements:
The Community Action Agency of South Carolina prioritizes 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 South Carolina 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 heating assistance from January 1st until April 30th each year and LIHEAP cooling assistance from May 1st until September 30th. LIHEAP applications cannot be submitted year-round.
Note that applications for Crisis Assistance, for households that meet the state definition of a crisis, can be from January 1st to September 30th each year.
To apply for LIHEAP in South Carolina, complete the following three steps:
Learn what documents and information you need to complete the process by contacting your local Community Action Agency here.
Find your nearest Community Action Agency office and contact information here.
Go to your local Community Action Agency and fill out an application with a community agent. Find your local agency here.
If you have questions about the application process or require assistance, contact your nearest Community Action Agency office. Find your nearest office here.
When applying for South Carolina 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 by contacting your local agency here.
You can call the Community Action Agency office where you applied to check your application status directly.
Click here to find your local office and contact information.
The Community Action Agency of South Carolina 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 South Carolina LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by writing a statement to your local Community Action Agency office where you applied within 30 days of when you received the denial. Find your nearest local CAP office here.
If your local agency representative cannot resolve the dispute, you can request a hearing with the South Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity. You can send a formal appeal to email@example.com or the following address:
Office of Economic Opportunity
Attention: Legal Counsel
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 355
Columbia, SC 29201
Make sure your appeal letter contains the following information:
Once the Office of Economic Opportunity 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 Office of Economic Opportunity:
If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in South Carolina or require further assistance, contact your local Community Action Agency office. Find your nearest Community Action Agency office and contact information here.
You can also contact the South Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity phone line at 803-734-0662 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 20, 2022