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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 West Virginia, LIHEAP is administered by the Division of Family Assistance (DFA) under the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).

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

For more information about LIHEAP in West Virginia, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in West Virginia?

The West Virginia Division of Family Assistance 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 West Virginia, see the West Virginia 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 West Virginia defines a “crisis situation” as one where a household:

  • Is in danger of having their utilities disconnected.
  • Has already had their utilities disconnected by their service provider.
  • Has a heating source that is no longer functioning.

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 energy loss.
  • A member of the household has a condition that requires the use of a medical device/medication that requires energy.

For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment of $2,000.

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

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in West Virginia?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the West Virginia Division of Family Assistance 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 in West Virginia is $497 for heating and $355 for cooling, and the minimum annual benefit amount is $131 for heating and $140 for cooling.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in West Virginia

To qualify for LIHEAP in West Virginia, 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 West Virginia Division of Family Assistance 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia

Eligible households can only apply for LIHEAP heating assistance from October 1st until March 31st each year. Likewise, eligible households can only apply for LIHEAP cooling assistance from May 1st until September 30th each year. LIHEAP applications cannot be submitted year-round.

To apply for LIHEAP in West Virginia, 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 the digital application on the West Virginia Benefits Portal here.

To apply by mail or in person, find your nearest Department of Health and Human Resources office and contact information here.

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

Access the West Virginia 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 your nearest Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) office. Find your nearest DHHR office here.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for West Virginia 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

You can call the Department of Health and Human Resources 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 West Virginia?

The West Virginia Division of Family Assistance 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 West Virginia LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by writing a statement to your local Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) office where you applied within 60 days of when you received the denial. Find your nearest local DHHR office here.

If the DHHR representative cannot resolve the dispute, you can request a hearing with the Department of Health and Human Resources. To begin this process, access the Fair Hearing Rights and Request Form here and mail it to:
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
Office of Inspector General
Board of Review
203 East Third Avenue
Williamson, WV 25661

Once the Department of Health and Human Resources 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 DHHR client services at (800) 642-8589.

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in West Virginia or require further assistance, contact your local Department of Health and Human Resources office. Find your nearest Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) office and contact information here.

You can also contact DHHR client services at (800) 642-8589.

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