LIHEAP in Connecticut
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Connecticut LIHEAP, known as the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), is designed to help Connecticut’s lower income households offset winter heating costs. By providing energy assistance in the coldest months of the year, the state aids in the wellness and health of its most vulnerable citizens, especially the elderly, young children and individuals with disabilities, as these individuals are far more likely to develop serious health complications if a home grows too cold.
Utility assistance can only be applied for in person for most cases. However, additional options are available to individuals who are homebound. Before you apply for assistance from CEAP, it is important to review the eligibility requirements that must be met to receive aid as well as how CEAP benefits are provided to eligible applicants. By learning more about CEAP benefits and eligibility requirements, you will be better prepared for the application process and you will know what to expect if you are approved for benefits.
Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Connecticut
Heating assistance is provided by the CEAP program in order to ensure the general health and welfare of Connecticut’s low-income households and the most vulnerable citizens. CEAP is not designed to pay the for a household’s entire heating costs throughout the winter, but payments made can alleviate much of the financial burden that many low income households face during the colder months. Benefits can only be received by a household once per year.
This low income home energy assistance program pays for a portion of a household’s primary heating source. Acceptable heating sources include sources such as oil, natural gas, electricity, propane, kerosene, coal, wood and wood pellets. Both homeowners and renters may be eligible to receive benefits from CEAP, including renters that pay heat costs directly to a landlord as part of a rental agreement. Not only is general assistance provided, but emergency assistance is available to qualifying applicants that have received a shut off notice from a utility due to nonpayment.
The LIHEAP program also provides financial aid towards improvement within a home that can reduce energy costs, also known as weatherization. Weatherization efforts can reduce a home’s use of energy, which can therefore reduce the likelihood that a family will need financial assistance through CEAP the following years.
Learn more about the types of LIHEAP assistance in our downloadable guide.
What are the Connecticut LIHEAP eligibility Guidelines?
Before you apply for LIHEAP in Connecticut, it is strongly recommended that you review eligibility requirements associated with the CEAP program in order to determine whether you and your household may qualify for benefits. This utility bill assistance for low income families program is only available to residents of Connecticut. If you are not a Connecticut resident, you will be referred to your home state’s program.
LIHEAP income guidelines must be met in order to qualify for benefits for weatherization or financial assistance towards the cost of heating bills. For a household to qualify, household income must fall at or below 60 percent of the state median income. Income limits are determined by household size. In addition to household income limits, there are also asset limits. However, the first $15,000 in liquid assets for homeowners and $12,000 for renters is disregarded. Any liquid asset amounts over those limits will be added to annual gross income calculations.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Connecticut
If applying for the LIHEAP program in Connecticut, it is important to know that you can only apply for benefits in person at your local Communality Action Agency (CAA). You cannot submit a LIHEAP application online, over the phone or by mail at this time in most cases. If you are homebound and unable to visit a CAA office in person, you may be eligible for a home visit or a mail-in application. In cases such as these, a worker may be able to schedule an appointment to come out to your home. Accommodations are generally only provided due to a disability condition. If you are homebound, you can contact your local CAA office by phone.
When applying for LIHEAP, you will be required to provide documentation that will allow CAA workers to verify your eligibility for CEAP benefits. If you do not provide documentation, your application will most likely be denied. Documentation that must be included with your application includes:
- Proof of income for the last 30 days for all household members that are 18 years of age or older.
- Proof of disability, if a member of your household is legally disabled.
- Your household’s most recent heating bill or rent receipt (if heat costs are paid directly to landlord)
- Proof of assets, such as a most recent bank statement of each household member.
You can apply for LIHEAP as early as August 1st. However, assistance is not provided until mid-November.
Find out more about applying for LIHEAP by downloading our free guide.
How much does LIHEAP pay in Connecticut?
The energy assistance amounts provided by Connecticut CEAP will vary by household, based upon fuel sources, current funding levels, household size, household income and so on. There are also different benefit amounts available for homeowners and renters who pay a utility for heat as opposed to renters who make payments to a landlord.
The amount of heating assistance that your family may qualify for if you live in a home or rental unit, but you pay your heat separately from your rent, is generally up to $670. However, households with at least one vulnerable member can receive up to $725 in assistance. Vulnerable members include senior citizens who are at least 60 years of age, children under the age of 6 and disabled individuals. If you are a renter with heat included in your rent, you may be eligible to receive between $150 and $190 in assistance from CEAP.
As stated previously, utility assistance can only be provided to a household once per year. If you have already received benefits for the year, you will not be eligible to receive benefits until the following year. In most cases, benefits are not provided directly to participants in most cases. Instead, benefits are paid directly to the utility or landlord towards the participant’s account.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
Your Connecticut LIHEAP application status can be checked by contacting your local Community Action Agency that you submitted your application through. As stated previously, while you can apply for benefits as early as August each year, benefits are not issued until mid-November. In most cases, you will receive a notice in the mail informing you as to whether or not your household is eligible for assistance and the beneficiary amount that will be applied to your account.