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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 South Dakota, LIHEAP is administered by the South Dakota Department of Social Services.

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

For more information about LIHEAP in South Dakota, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in South Dakota?

The Department of Social Services of South Dakota 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 South Dakota, see the South Dakota state 2022 LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.

South Dakota’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 South Dakota defines a “crisis situation” as one where a household:

  • Has an eviction notice for non-payment when heat is included with rent,
  • Is in danger of having their utilities disconnected, or
  • Has already had their utilities disconnected or denied fuel delivery 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 does not have a heat source and the temperature is at 50 degrees or colder or will be within 18 hours.

For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment of $2,400.

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

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in South Dakota?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Department of Social Services of South Dakota 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 South Dakota is $2,291 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $668.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in South Dakota

To qualify for LIHEAP in South Dakota, 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.

The Department of Social Services of South Dakota 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 Dakota 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 South Dakota

Eligible households can usually apply for LIHEAP assistance from October 1st until September 30th each year. However, specific application deadlines may depend on the fuel type. LIHEAP applications cannot be submitted year-round.

To apply for LIHEAP in South Dakota, 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 here.

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

To apply online, complete and submit the South Dakota digital application here.

To apply by mail, download, print and fill out the LIHEAP application found here. (If you do not have access to a computer or printer to fill out your application at home, you may pick up an application from your local Department of Social Services office here.) Once you have completed your application, mail it and any other necessary documents to the following address:
Office of Energy Assistance
910 E. Sioux Ave. 
Pierre, SD 57501

To apply in person, visit your local Department of Social Services office, which you can find here.

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

Access the South Dakota LIHEAP application here.

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 the Office of Energy Assistance at (800) 233-8503. If you require TTY assistance, call (800) 325-0778.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for South Dakota 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
  • Utility bill information (vendor name and account number)
  • Residence information (landlord’s name, address and phone number, if renting)
  • Income verification for the last three months (pay stubs)

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

How to Check Your Application Status

To check your application status, you can call the Office of Energy Assistance at (800) 233-8503.

If you require TTY assistance, call (800) 325-0778.

What Happens After You Apply for LIHEAP in South Dakota?

The Department of Social Services of South Dakota 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 South Dakota LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision within 60 days of when you received the denial. You can file an appeal by mail, email, phone or in person at your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office.

To file an appeal for a Fair Hearing by mail or email, you will need to write a letter that includes the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • The reason for your appeal, whether you were denied benefits or you received a lower benefit amount than you believe you should have
  • Your desired solution for how the Department of Social Services should remedy the situation

You must also enclose a copy of your determination letter when filing an appeal by mail or email.

After writing your request letter, you can send it by mail to the following address:
Department of Social Services
Office of Administrative Hearings
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501

To email your request letter, use this address: admhrngs@state.sd.us.

You can also request a Fair Hearing by phone by calling (605) 773-6851. Remember to have all the information you would have written in your request letter on hand and be sure to have your determination letter as well.

Finally, you can appeal your decision by speaking with an employment specialist at your local DSS office here.

For more information about the Fair Hearing process, click here.

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in South Dakota or require further assistance, contact your local Department of Social Services office. Find your nearest Department of Social Services (DSS) office and contact information here.

You can also contact the DSS LIHEAP phone line at (605) 773-3766 or (800) 233-8503 toll-free. If you require TTY assistance, call 1 (800) 325-0778.

You can also send the DSS an inquiry through their website here.

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 20, 2022