LIHEAP in Michigan

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In Michigan LIHEAP is a large aid program that contains several financial assistance plans for low-income individuals and families. These energy assistance programs were created to help reduce the costs of home heating and utilities. The program is offered in each state, but each one is responsible for setting the rules and regulations. It is open to low-income homeowners and renters meet the designated income, family size and household requirements.

To qualify, applicants must show proof of meeting all these requirements, which are set by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). To qualify for the LIHEAP program or other financial assistance plans, like the Home Heating Credit, applicants must have incomes that fall within the designated eligibility guidelines. Likewise, they must reside in Michigan and demonstrate a need for financial aid. Eligible enrollees may also qualify for other government assistance programs, which can be determined during the application process.

You must apply for LIHEAP to see if you qualify for enrollment. Michigan offers a few different financial aid programs and credits to reduce the cost of home energy bills. These programs and their requirements for enrollment differ from programs offered in other state. To learn more about the program and see if you qualify, continue reading the sections discussed below.

Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Michigan

Utility assistance in Michigan is offered through several programs distributed by the MDHHS. These programs are designed to lower the cost of home energy usage. The state provides utility bill assistance for low income families with three different programs. The program for which an applicant qualifies is determined by his or her income, household size, household type and fuel type.

Applicants may be eligible for the Home Heating Credit, which helps low-income renters and homeowners pay for heating costs. This heating assistance tax credit is available to applicants whose income falls within a designated range. Enrollees must either own or rent a home to qualify for the credit. Full-time students who were claimed as dependents are not eligible.

The Crisis Intervention program in Michigan helps provide emergency fuel and heating sources to households in need. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate an immediate need for assistance with electricity or fuel. Candidates must provide proof of receiving a shut-off notice from their fuel supplier or show that their tank is estimated to contain no more than 25 percent of its heating fuel capacity.

Another LIHEAP program designed to keep low-income residents warm during the winter is Michigan’s Winter Protection Plan (WPP). To qualify, individuals must either receive cash assistance, be on Medicaid benefits, receive Food Stamps, be elderly or have an income below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps low-income renters and homeowners by providing free energy conservation services. These services are designed to lower the overall cost of energy bills. Services include wall insulation, dryer venting and foundation insulation.

What are the Michigan LIHEAP eligibility guidelines?

There are certain LIHEAP guidelines in Michigan that at all applicants must meet before qualifying for any of the programs. Each state is responsible for setting the specific conditions for eligibility, as well as the benefits of each program. The LIHEAP income guidelines differ from other states, as these conditions reflect the cost of living in each area. Aside from income, the state considers other factors during the application process. Candidates must provide information about the size of their household, the structure of the household and the condition of the heating or cooling system. LIHEAP eligibility is granted only to those applicants who meet all the requirements set forth by the state.

Depending on the program for which an applicant applies, he or she is held to certain requirements. All enrollees must provide proof of residing in Michigan. Furthermore, the programs offered through MDHHS are reserved for U.S. citizens, nationals or qualified noncitizens.

The LIHEAP qualifications for income also play a role in determining an applicant’s eligibility for the program. During the application process, candidates are required to report all types of income. Income includes (but is not limited to):

  • Wages and salaries
  • TANF benefits
  • Child support
  • Pensions
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Alimony
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Social Security

Learn more about LIHEAP eligibility guidelines by downloading our free guide.

 

How to Apply for LIHEAP in Michigan

Michigan residents can apply for energy assistance in one of several ways, depending on the specific program in which they are interested. To apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), applicants must reach out to their local Community Action Agency. These offices are located throughout the state.

Applicants may apply for LIHEAP online to determine their eligibility for the Crisis Intervention Program, a program offered through the State Emergency Relief plan. This program helps low-income individuals and families receive crucial access to fuel during the winter. They can download the LIHEAP application online and submit all documents for review.  During this process, applicants must register for a personal account to verify several types of information.

Residents may access a LIHEAP application form for the Home Heating Credit from mid-January to September. Those who were enrolled in the program for the previous year will automatically receive a form in the mail.

During the LIHEAP application process, you will be asked to provide proof of meeting all the eligibility requirements of the program. This includes:

  • Proof of residency (i.e. a property tax bill or lease agreement)
  • Proof of identity (i.e. Social Security card or birth certificate)
  • Proof of income (i.e. a federal tax return)
  • Copies of most recent energy and utility bills
  • Information about the type of fuel used

 

How much does LIHEAP pay in Michigan?

LIHEAP in Michigan is provided through several aid programs, all of which distribute different benefits and payments. The specific amount of benefits depends on several factors, such as income, family size, energy costs and the type of fuel used. Energy assistance benefits are typically submitted directly to the fuel or energy supplier on behalf of the household, not to the applicant.

The Crisis Intervention Program is designed to provide emergency fuel to low-income homeowners and renters, but it does not always cover the total cost. This utility assistance program has minimum and maximum benefit amounts, which are determined each year. Currently, enrollees receive anywhere from $450 to $850 in fuel assistance each year. Enrollees may only receive two payments for each heating season, one of which is designated for heat.

Find out more about LIHEAP benefit amounts in our comprehensive guide.

How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?

Applicants cannot check their LIHEAP application status through their online account. The MDHHS notifies everyone who applied for State Emergency Relief within 10 days. The notice, which arrives by mail, contains either an approval or denial decision. If approved, candidates may log into their accounts to view their benefits.

If you need help with the LIHEAP application form, there are many knowledgeable experts ready to help. You can get help in person at one of the Community Action Agencies located around the state. Alternatively, there are online resources you can use to receive help with applying or checking your benefits.