Energy assistance in Missouri is available from the Department of Social Services. The federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is offered throughout the state to low-income residents struggling to pay their energy and utility bills. It is available in all 50 U.S. states, but each one has the authority to change its name or determine the specific benefits. Both homeowners and renters with incomes that fall within a designated range may be eligible for fuel assistance. To qualify, candidates for the program must provide proof of meeting the program requirements. The Department of Social Services sets the specific income, household size and type requirements necessary to receive assistance through the program. All eligible enrollees must reside in Missouri.
To enroll in the MO LIHEAP program, all candidates must apply to determine whether they qualify for financial assistance. Specific program benefits and application requirements of this program vary between states. Missouri residents must confirm their eligibility with the Department of Social Services to receive aid. To learn more about the program and find out how to apply for benefits, continue reading the sections discussed below.
Learn About Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Missouri
Heating assistance and other types of utility bill aid in Missouri is available from the Department of Social Services. The programs provided by the department are designed to lower the cost of energy bills and provide emergency fuel supply to those in need. Utility bill assistance for low income families is offered in two ways: regular and emergency. The type of aid an applicant receives depends on his or her situation, income, residence type and household size.
The Energy Assistance and Regular Heating (EA) program is available to qualifying enrollees who need help paying for heating costs during the months of November to March. This program provides approved applicants with a one-time payment. Benefits are paid directly to the fuel supplier on behalf of the household. The payment amount is not standard throughout the program. It depends on income, household size and energy costs.
The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) helps individuals and families stay connected when their energy is shut off or threatened. Heating assistance is available from November through May while cooling assistance is offered June through September. This program is reserved for those at highest risk, including households with elderly persons, children or people with disabilities.
The LIHEAP program in Missouri also provides other essential energy services. Residents may be eligible for free blankets, free or reduced window air conditioning units, free or reduced furnace repair or replacement and emergency lodging. The exact benefits available to applicants varies based on a few factors, including income and need.
Learn more about LIHEAP programs by downloading our comprehensive guide.
What are the Missouri LIHEAP requirements?
There are certain Missouri LIHEAP guidelines that all applicants must meet to qualify for benefits. Aside from income requirements, the Department of Social Services requires applicants to meet conditions regarding household size and fuel type. Likewise, enrollees must demonstrate the responsibility of paying for their heating and cooling costs as best as possible. Eligibility in Missouri is determined during the application process. Candidates must show proof of meeting all the program guidelines in order to receive assistance.
Each state determines its own LIHEAP guidelines in accordance with federal regulations. In Missouri, eligible enrollees must reside in the state. They must also be U.S. citizens or have been legally admitted for permanent residence. Enrollees are also held to certain banking requirements, including having less than a certain amount of money in one or more accounts.
The LIHEAP qualifications for income apply to all candidates. The Department of Social Services requires applicants to report all types of income during the application process, which includes:
- Unemployment benefits
- Alimony and child support
- TANF benefits
- Worker’s compensation
- Social Security
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Missouri
Candidates must apply for LIHEAP to learn of their eligibility for the program. The only way to apply for benefits is to complete a paper application and mail it to the proper processing agency. The agency must receive all applications by the deadline to include them for review. Candidates must mail their files and application to the agency in their area.
You cannot apply for LIHEAP online, as there is no electronic application available. However, you can find the LIHEAP application online, print it out, complete it and mail it to the proper agency. The application gives step-by-step instructions on how you should complete it as well as explains the type of information you must submit to the agency. If you prefer not to print out your own application, you can request to have a form mailed to you.
Depending on your household type, you must submit your application by a certain deadline. However, if you need emergency fuel assistance, apply any time. You will be asked to submit a variety of documents proving your eligibility for 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 W-2 or federal tax return)
- Copies of recent energy and fuel bills
- Copies of shutoff notices (if applicable)
- Information about type of fuel used
Find out more about the LIHEAP application process, download our free guide.
How much could LIHEAP pay in Missouri?
Utility assistance benefit amounts are determined by income, family size, energy usage and other factors. The benefits are usually paid directly to the fuel or energy provider rather than to the applicant. Once an applicant is approved for assistance, the state notifies him or her of the exact benefit amount.
The LIHEAP program in Missouri is not meant to cover everything the entire bill. Instead, it is designed to lower the cost of home heating and cooling to allow low-income families to get back on their feet. The Department of Social Services sets the minimum and maximum benefit amounts for each program. Under the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP), enrollees receive a maximum of $800 in the winter and $300 in the summer.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
All candidates must apply for LIHEAP in Missouri before receiving assistance. Agency officials review all applications and supplemental information to determine who is eligible for assistance. It is important that applicants provide all the required information before mailing the application. Incomplete files will not be processed, and candidates will experience a delayed approval process.
The state processes all applications within 30 days of receiving them. However, those who have had their energy shut off or have received notice of a shutoff intention may receive a decision sooner. Anyone who has not received a decision within the 30-day period is encouraged to contact the department to inquire about their application. Customer service representatives will notify them of their LIHEAP application status and explain whether there are any other steps they must take to complete the process.