Florida LIHEAP provides financial assistance to Florida low-income residents that are having trouble paying for their home heating and cooling costs. By providing energy assistance, the state protects residents against serious illness or death caused by a home becoming too cold or too hot, especially more vulnerable residents such as young children, senior citizens and disabled individuals. In Florida, benefits can be potentially obtained more than once per year and benefits are available for general and emergency assistance. Additionally, qualifying households may be eligible to receive aid for weatherization efforts in order to make a home more energy efficient, thus lowering heating and cooling costs for the home.
If you are in need of utility assistance in Florida, it is important to familiarize yourself with this program, including the benefits that are provided, eligibility requirements that must be met and how to submit an application. By familiarizing yourself with the program, you will know what to expect if your household is approved for benefits and you may gain a better understanding as to whether or not your household may qualify.
Learn About Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Florida
Cooling and heating assistance are available in Florida to low income households that are strongly to meet the costs of utilities. This low income home energy assistance program is funded by the federal government and monitored and administered by local agencies. Depending on the funds in the county that you live in, you may be eligible to receive benefits up to three times per year. However, benefits cannot be provided two months in a row. Financial aid is provided directly to utilities, deposited on a household’s account in order to cover current, past due and future cooling and heating costs. Generally applications can take time to deposit. However, in the event of a crisis, an application may be processed immediately in order to avoid a utility disconnect, especially if there is an individual living within the home that is considered to be vulnerable to serious illness or death if a home becomes too hot or too cold.
In addition to energy assistance, the Florida Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides grants to aid in a home’s weatherization, thus reducing the monthly energy burden on low-income households. With weatherization, a home can become more energy efficient. WAP provides assistance such as:
- Addressing air infiltration through the use of weather stripping, caulking, thresholds, minor repairs to the structure of the home and window and door replacement.
- The installation of attic and floor insulation.
- The installation of attic ventilation.
- The application of solar reflective coating to manufactured homes.
- The installation of solar screens.
- The repair or replacement of inefficient heating and cooling units.
- The repair or replacement of water heaters.
What are the Florida LIHEAP requirements?
Before you apply for LIHEAP in Florida, you are strongly encouraged to review the requirements associated within the program in order to prepare yourself for the application process and verify whether you may be eligible for assistance. To receive Florida LIHEAP benefits, you must be a resident of the state. Nonresidents will be referred to their home state’s program.
To receive utility bill assistance for low income families in Florida, you and your household must be able to meet income guidelines. LIHEAP income guidelines are based upon household size and the national poverty line. To receive assistance, your household income cannot exceed more than 200 percent of the national poverty line. Additionally, priority is provided to households that contain vulnerable individuals, such as senior citizens who are 60 years of age or older, children who are under 12 and physically disabled individuals. Priority is also provided to households that have repeated high utility bills due to high energy burdens.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Florida
To apply for LIHEAP in Florida, you must find your local provider stationed within your county. You can find a list of county providers online, including the phone numbers of each agency. You must contact the agency by phone and, in most cases, you will need to schedule an appointment at your local office. When visiting your local office to apply for benefits, it is important that you bring the documents that are necessary to complete your application with you in order to avoid a delay in the processing of your application. When applying for LIHEAP benefits, bring the following documents:
- A photo ID, such as with a Florida driver’s license, identification card or a U.S. passport.
- Proof of income for the last 30 days for all household members that are 18 years of age or older.
- Proof of disability, if applicable.
- Your most recent utility bill.
- Your utility disconnect notice, if applying for emergency assistance.
How much could LIHEAP pay in Florida?
LIHEAP energy assistance will vary in Florida based upon your location, household size, household income and other factors. If you are approved to receive benefits in the state, you will be notified as such as well as the amount of benefits that your household is eligible to receive. As stated previously, benefits can sometimes be received up to three times per year, however, benefits cannot be received for more than one month in a row.
Utility assistance is paid directly to the utility and put onto your household’s account. Benefits will then be applied to past due balances, current bills and future charges.
Find out more about LIHEAP in our free downloadable guide.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
You can view a LIHEAP application status in Florida by contacting your local agency that you applied with. At this time, applications cannot be viewed online. The only way to receive an update on your application is by contacting the local agency.