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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 Tennessee, LIHEAP is administered by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.
Learn more about LIHEAP by reviewing the federal program fact sheet here.
For more information about LIHEAP in Tennessee, click here.
The Housing Development Agency of Tennessee oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for heating expenses to qualified households. Financial assistance can include payment for:
For more information about LIHEAP’s heating assistance initiative in Tennessee, see the Tennessee state LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.
Tennessee’s LIHEAP program does not provide financial compensation for cooling expenses. However, it does assist with cooling emergencies if applicants qualify for 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 Tennessee 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 $650.
Learn more about Crisis Assistance on page 12 of the Detailed Model Plan here.
To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Housing Development Agency of Tennessee will consider:
Also, whether you are eligible for regular LIHEAP payments or Crisis Assistance payments will influence your maximum benefit amount.
As of 2020, the maximum annual benefit amount for heating or cooling in Tennessee is $650 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $175.
To qualify for LIHEAP in Tennessee, you must meet the following requirements:
The Housing Development Agency of Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 assistance from November 1 until March 31 each year. LIHEAP applications cannot be submitted year-round.
To apply for LIHEAP in Tennessee, complete the following three steps:
Learn what documents and information you need to complete the process here.
Find your nearest Housing Development Agency (HDA) office and contact information here. Call ahead of time and ask when it is best for you to submit your application.
Access the Tennessee LIHEAP application here and submit it to your local Housing Development Agency office.
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 your nearest Housing Development Agency (HDA) office. Find your nearest HDA office here.
When applying for Tennessee 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 here.
You can call the Housing Development Agency office where you applied directly to check your application status.
Click here to find your local office and contact information.
The Housing Development Agency of Tennessee 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 Tennessee LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by writing a statement to your local Housing Development Agency (HDA) office within the time allotted in your determination letter.
You can file an appeal for a Fair Hearing online, by phone, by mail, by fax or through email.
To file an appeal online, visit the Tennessee appeals portal here.
To file an appeal by phone, call (866) 787-8209 or 1 (800) 270-1349.
To file an appeal by fax, send your completed Appeal Request (found here) to (615) 248-7013.
To request a fair hearing by mail, fill out the Appeal Request form (found here) and mail it to the following address:
James K. Polk Building505 Deaderick Street, 1st Floor
ATTN: Clerk’s Office
P.O. Box 198996
Nashville, TN 37219-8996
For more information on how and when to request a Fair Hearing, click here or call the Division of Appeals and Hearings at (866) 787-8209.
To check the status of your Fair Hearing request, click here.
If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in Tennessee or require further assistance, contact your local Housing Development Agency office. Find your nearest Housing Development Agency (HDA) office and contact information here.
You can also contact the Tennessee HDA phone line at (615) 815-2200 or email LIHEAP@thda.org.
You can find more contact information for the HDA here.
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.