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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 Texas, LIHEAP is also known as the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA)

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

For more information about LIHEAP in Texas, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in Texas?

The Department of Housing and Community Affairs of Texas 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 Texas, see the Texas 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 Texas defines a “crisis situation” as one where a household has already lost or are endanger of losing their utilities services and are experiencing:

  • Extreme weather conditions,
  • A disaster, or
  • A life-threatening crisis situation.

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 more than 18 hours of bulk 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 $2,400.

Learn more about crisis assistance on page 12 of the Texas LIHEAP state plan here.

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in Texas?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs of Texas 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 or cooling in Texas is $12,300 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $1.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in Texas

To qualify for LIHEAP in Texas, 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 Housing and Community Affairs of Texas 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 Texas 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 Texas

Eligible households can apply for LIHEAP assistance year-round.

To apply for LIHEAP in Texas, 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 by contacting your local Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) office using the office locator here.

  1. Choose which office to apply through in person. 

Find your nearest Department of Housing and Community Affairs office and contact information here.

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

Once you have chosen the office you will be applying with, be sure to gather all your necessary documents and call ahead to confirm you can apply on-site with a local agent.

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 Department of Housing and Community Affairs office. Find your nearest TDHCA office here.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for Texas 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)

To learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process, call (877) 399-8939 or 211.

How to Check Your Application Status

You can call the Department of Housing and Community Affairs office where you applied to check your application status directly.

Click here to find your local office and contact information.

What Happens After You Apply for LIHEAP in Texas?

The Department of Housing and Community Affairs of Texas 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 Texas LIHEAP benefits by your local Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) office, you may file an appeal within 30 days of when you received the denial.

You can file an appeal for a fair hearing in person, by phone or by mail.

To file an appeal in person, you will need to go to a local TDHCA office and speak with a representative about your appeal. You can find the office closest to you here. Be sure to bring your determination letter.

To file an appeal by phone, call the Texas Appeals Division at (512) 231-5701 or 211 for application assistance. Be sure to have your determination letter on hand for reference.

To request a fair hearing by mail, download the Fair Hearing Request form found here and mail it to the following address:
Health and Human Services Commission
PO Box 149024,
Austin, TX 78714-9968

If you have any questions about the appeals process, visit the Appeal Division’s website here and their FAQ page here.

If you need further assistance, contact (877) 399-8939.

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in Texas or require further assistance, contact your local Department of Housing and Community Affairs office. Find your nearest Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) office and contact information here.

You can also contact the TDHCA Association of Texas phone line at (877) 399-8939 or email the department at info@tdhca.state.tx.us.

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