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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 the U.S. Virgin Islands, LIHEAP is administered by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Human Services (DHS).

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

For more information about LIHEAP in the U.S. Virgin Islands, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The Department of Human Services of the U.S. Virgin Islands oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for energy 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 energy assistance initiative in the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Human Services site 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.

A “crisis situation” typically includes when a household:

  • Has little fuel left,
  • Is in danger of having their utilities disconnected, or
  • Has already had their utilities disconnected by their service provider.

For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment that differs by location. To find out your potential benefit for Crisis Assistance, contact your local DHS office here.

Learn more about Crisis Assistance on pages 8 and 9 of the LIHEAP Program PDF here.

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Department of Human Services of the U.S. Virgin Islands 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 2020, the maximum annual benefit amount in the U.S. Virgin Islands may differ between locations. To find out about your specific area, contact your local Department of Human Services office here.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in the U.S. Virgin Islands

To qualify for LIHEAP in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of the territory
  • 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 Human Services of the U.S. Virgin Islands 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 the U.S. Virgin Islands 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 (LIHEAP). Learn more here.

How to Apply for LIHEAP in the U.S. Virgin Islands

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 the U.S. Virgin Islands, 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 by phone or in person. 

Find your nearest Department of Human Services (DHS) office and contact information here.

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

Contact your nearest DHS office and ask them how they would prefer you submit your LIHEAP application. Click here to find the contact information for all DHS offices in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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 Human Services (DHS) office. Find your nearest DHS office here.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for the U.S. Virgin Islands 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 energy

The DHS 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

You can call the Department of Human Services 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 the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The Department of Human Services of the U.S. Virgin Islands will notify you within 30 days of receiving your application if you are approved to receive benefits. All LIHEAP payments are made to the energy provider directly. Benefit payments will not be sent to you.

How to Appeal a Denial of Benefits

If you do not agree with the LIHEAP benefit decision given to you by the U.S. Virgin Islands

Department of Human Services, you can appeal your decision in person or by mail after

receiving your determination letter. Review your determination letter to find the date that your request must be submitted.

To file an appeal in person, visit a local Department of Human Services. You will need to speak

with a representative and tell them why you are appealing your determination. You may also

need to bring your benefit determination letter and evidence that supports your appeal. Find your nearest location here.

To file a claim by mail, you will need to write a letter that includes the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • The reason for your appeal
  • A copy of your determination letter when filing an appeal by mail.

For more information on the appeal process, read the Fraud, Administration and Appeals overview page provided by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Human Services here.

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in the U.S. Virgin Islands or require further assistance, contact your local Department of Human Services office. Find your nearest Department of Human Services (DHS) office and contact information here.

You can call also call the DHS at one of the following phone numbers based on your location:

  • St. Thomas

340-774-0930

  • St. Croix

340-718-2980

  • St. John

340-776-6334

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.