LIHEAP in Delaware
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Delaware LIHEAP, also known as the Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) within the state, is a federally funded assistance program that offers financial aid to qualifying low-income families that need help in meeting the cost of home energy. In addition to energy assistance in both winter and summer seasons, the program provides crisis assistance in the event that a household is facing a utility shut off due to lack of payments. By learning more about the various types of assistance provided by DEAP, you will gain a better understanding about the benefits that you and your household may be eligible to receive.
If you need utility assistance in Delaware, it is a good idea to first review eligibility requirements that are associated with the DEAP program. These requirements primarily focus on household income, but there are also residency requirements that must be met in order to receive assistance. After reviewing requirements, you can expedite your application process by familiarizing yourself with the methods of application that are available to you and the documents that you must provide alongside the application.
Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Delaware
Delaware offers electric and heating assistance in the coldest and hottest months of the year to low income families that qualify for financial assistance. By providing utility assistance towards the cost of utilities during the harshest months of the year, the state has aided in the safeguard of the health and wellness of low income citizens, especially the most vulnerable of citizens. Studies show that vulnerable citizens, such as senior citizens, young children and disabled individuals, are far more likely to receive life threatening illnesses when temperatures rise too high or fall to low.
This low income home energy assistance program is funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and contracted in Delaware through Catholic Charities, Inc.
Heating assistance is available between October 1st and March 31st each year to qualifying households. Benefits include financial assistance in the form of grants that help pay for home heating for a variety of fuel sources, including electricity, natural gas, kerosene, propane, coal and wood. Assistance is available to both homeowners and renters.
Energy assistance is also available July through August through the Summer Cooling Assistance Program (SCAP) in Delaware. Similarly to financial aid provides in the winter months, this program provides aid towards a household’s payments for electricity to cool homes with air conditioning during the hottest months of the year. In addition to providing financial assistance towards utility bills, some households may be eligible to receive a room sized air conditioning unit if a home does not have access to air conditioning.
Finally, Delaware LIHEAP provides crisis assistance to households that have received a disconnect notice from a utility company during winter months. In the event of a crisis, DEAP can expedite a household’s application in order to try to provide assistance quickly to avoid a utility shut off.
Utility assistance provided by DEAP is rarely distributed to a household. Instead, payments are made directly to the utility company to be credited onto a household’s account. Benefits can be used towards past due amounts, current bills or future bills on the account.
Learn more about the types of LIHEAP assistance available with our downloadable guide.
What are the Delaware LIHEAP eligibility guidelines?
Before you apply for LIHEAP in Delaware, it is important to first familiarize yourself with DEAP eligibility requirements in order to better determine whether you and your household may qualify to receive assistance from one of the three types of assistances provided. To receive DEAP benefits, you must be a resident of Delaware. If you are not a resident, your application will be denied and you will be referred to your home state’s program.
LIHEAP income guidelines are the primary eligibility requirement for DEAP benefits. The program seeks to aid low income households and, as such, there are income limits that cannot be exceeded by a household in order to receive benefits. These income limits are based upon household size and the medium income for a Delaware county. If your household has too high of an income, benefits will be denied.
If applying for emergency energy assistance, you must have received a disconnect notice from your utility or you must be able to provide proof that you are unable to pay for the cost of fuel. As stated previously, emergency assistance is only available in the winter season and is not available in the summer months.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Delaware
In Delaware, LIHEAP is contracted through Catholic Charities Inc. Therefore, an application for general or emergency assistance can only be placed with the Catholic Charities assigned to your county. Each county may have a variety of application methods available to you, such as by-mail, in person and by phone applications. You will need to contact your local Catholic Charities in order to determine the application methods available at that particular location.
When you apply for LIHEAP, it is important to provide documentation to support the information provided in your application. Without these documents, your application processing could be delayed or your benefits could be denied. When submitting an application, be sure to include the following:
- Your most recent utility bill.
- Proof of income for the last 30 days for all household members who are 18 years of age or older.
- A photo ID, such as with a passport, Delaware driver’s license or Delaware identification card.
- A copy of your utility shut off notice, if applying for emergency assistance.
Find out more about the LIHEAP application process by downloading our free guide.
How much does LIHEAP pay in Delaware?
In Delaware, energy assistance amounts will vary by household size, household income and whether there is a vulnerable individual living within the home. As stated previously, vulnerable individuals are considered those with disabilities as well as senior citizens and very young children. If you are approved to receive benefits, you will receive a notice informing you as to the amount of benefits that will be paid directly to your utility account.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
Delaware LIHEAP is handled by Catholic Charities Inc. As such, you must contact the location that you submitted your application with if you would like to inquire about the status of your application. In most cases, information regarding an application status can be obtained over the phone.