The Mississippi LIHEAP program is a government assistance plan designed to reduce the cost of home heating and energy bills. This energy assistance program helps thousands of low-income renters and homeowners afford heating, cooling and utility costs. It is offered in every U.S. state, though each one is responsible for determining the specifics of the program.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in Mississippi is open to homeowners and renters age 18 or older who struggle to pay their energy bills. To qualify for the program, applicants are required to submit documentation that proves they meet all the requirements set by the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS). These conditions include specific income, household size and energy usage requirements. To receive aid, candidates must also be Mississippi residents as well as U.S. citizens.
To receive utility assistance, all candidates must submit an official application. This is the only way to determine whether they qualify for aid. Program qualifications and benefits vary between states, so it is important that Mississippi residents check their eligibility status during the application process. For more information about the program and to learn how to apply, continue reading the sections discussed below.
Learn About Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Mississippi
Heating assistance and other forms of utility aid are provided by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, or MDHS. The state offers utility bill assistance for low income families through several types of aid programs for low-income renters and homeowners. All programs are contingent on an applicant’s income, residence type and household size. Applicants who meet the qualification may be eligible for one or both assistance programs.
The LIHEAP program provides financial assistance to low-income families who cannot afford to pay their current or past due utility bills. These benefits are paid directly to the fuel or service supplier on behalf of the household. The specific amounts of these grants are determined during the application process. The MDHS considers the applicant’s family size and income before determining how much aid is provided.
Another form of energy assistance is offered during emergencies. The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) provides emergency fuel supply to households that have been shut off due to past due bills. This program helps renters and homeowners avoid lapses in heating, which is essential during winter.
Mississippi residents may also be eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP. Qualifying enrollees receive repairs and improvements to their homes in an effort to reduce heating and cooling costs. Weatherization services include insulation, caulking and weather stripping.
What are the Mississippi LIHEAP requirements?
The LIHEAP guidelines in Mississippi are determined annually by the MDHS in accordance with federal regulations. Under program law, each state may determine the specific qualifications that all applicants must meet in order to receive assistance. LIHEAP eligibility is dependent on a number of factors, including age, income, household size and condition of the energy unit. Applicants must submit proof of meeting all the program guidelines during the application process before receiving benefits. The MDHS determines who qualifies for assistance after reviewing the application and supplemental materials.
There are LIHEAP income guidelines set by the state to which all applicants are held. Mississippi residents applying for assistance must have incomes that fall within a certain range in order to be considered for the program. All types of income must be reported during the application process. Income includes (but is not limited to):
- Wages and salaries
- Alimony and child support
- Retirement funds
- Cash gifts
- Worker’s compensation
- Social Security benefits
Learn more about LIHEAP in our free guide.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Mississippi
To apply for energy assistance in Mississippi, applicants have a few different options. No matter which method they choose, all applicants must be at least 18 years of age or emancipated to apply. The easiest method is to apply for LIHEAP online through the MDHS web portal. Applicants must create a personal account before accessing the electronic application. They will be asked to provide various pieces of information, such as their name, date of birth, Social Security Number and address.
You can find the pre- LIHEAP application online, which is not an official document but allows you to understand the type of information you will need to apply. It is a great way to prepare yourself for the application process. The pre-application asks a variety of questions to determine your eligibility.
You may also submit a LIHEAP application form at any one of the Community Action Agencies located throughout the state. Visit one of these offices if you do not have access to a computer or wish to receive help in person. It is suggested that you call and schedule an appointment to avoid long wait times.
During the application process, you may need to submit a variety of documents to show that you meet all requirements of the program. This includes:
- Proof of current address (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 W-2 or federal tax return)
- Copies of recent energy bills
How much could LIHEAP pay in Mississippi?
Mississippi LIHEAP benefits are determined per candidate during the application process. The amount of financial assistance distributed by the MDHS depends on a number of factors, including income, household size, type of fuel used, energy costs and household type. Utility assistance benefits are paid directly to the fuel provider, not the applicant. Specific coverage amounts are stated in the approval letter distributed by the MDHS.
Energy assistance benefits vary between applicants. Likewise, benefit amounts are only distributed when funding is available. When funding runs out, applicants no longer receive assistance. It is important to apply for benefits as early as possible to receive the greatest amount of assistance possible. The MDHS determines the minimum and maximum coverage amounts each year, which reflect cost of living and fuel at the time.
Find out more about LIHEAP benefit payments in our downloadable guide.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
Everyone must apply for LIHEAP in Mississippi in order to receive financial assistance. The MDHS determines who is eligible for the program upon reviewing the application. This process can take up to 60 days to complete.
The MDHS notifies all applicants of a decision regarding their benefits package. Those interested in checking their LIHEAP application status may log onto the web portal used during the application process. Alternatively, they may call the help line and speak with a representative to determine the status of their file.