Nebraska provides LIHEAP to offset the costs of home heating and cooling for families who pay a significant portion of their income to utility and energy bills. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is available in all 50 states. Each state is responsible for determining the program benefits and guidelines, which accounts for the variance of the program across the nation. This program is available to low-income renters and homeowners struggling to pay their utility costs.
To be eligible for the program, individuals must provide proof of meeting the requirements set by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (NDHHS). To qualify for energy assistance or other utility aid, applicants must have incomes that fall within the designated range. Likewise, the program is only open to Nebraska residents who demonstrate a financial need.
Utility assistance is offered through various programs provided by the NDHHS. To determine whether they qualify for financial assistance through one or more of these programs, all candidates must submit an official application. 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 Nebraska
Cooling and heating assistance in Nebraska is available from the NDHHS through a multitude of aid programs. The department has specific plans for year-round assistance, emergency aid, weatherization and furnace repair. The program for which an applicant qualifies depends on his or her income, family size and fuel type.
Utility bill assistance for low income families is separated into different categories, depending on the season. Cooling assistance is available in the summer and is open to families who meet one or more qualifications. For example, a household with a child younger than 6 years of age may qualify. Financial assistance for heating costs is available in the winter. These benefits are paid directly to the fuel supplier, not to the enrollee.
The LIHEAP program in Nebraska also has a crisis program designed to assist households in immediate danger of losing home energy. Applicants who have received a shut off notice from their utility providers may be eligible to receive emergency fuel delivery through this program to avoid losing energy. This program runs year-round and accepts applications whenever an emergency arises. Similarly, candidates eligible for the crisis program may qualify for assistance with paying deposits or reconnection fees.
Another Nebraska energy assistance program designed to help low-income families provides low-cost repair or replacement of furnaces or central air conditioners. The program has a designated maximum assistance amount as well as limits on how often a household may receive this type of assistance.
Find out more about types of LIHEAP assistance by downloading our free guide.
What are the Nebraska LIHEAP requirements?
The Nebraska LIHEAP guidelines require all applicants to meet certain conditions to be eligible for financial assistance. For example, the NDHHS requires all enrollees to have incomes that fall within a specific range according to the size of their household. Other conditions include the type of fuel used, structure of the household and condition of the heating or cooling system. LIHEAP eligibility in Nebraska is determined during the application process. Applicants must submit proof of meeting all the program eligibility guidelines. The NDHHS approves or denies applicants after reviewing the application form and supplemental materials.
There are many LIHEAP guidelines that determine who qualifies for assistance. Firstly, anyone applying for the program must be a Nebraska resident. There are also LIHEAP income guidelines that apply to all candidates for the program. Applicants are required to submit information about all types of income, including:
- Wages and salaries
- Social Security
- Unemployment benefits
- Alimony and child support
- Worker’s compensation
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Nebraska
To apply for LIHEAP in Nebraska, individuals have a few different options. No matter which method they choose, they will be asked to provide information for all members of the household. Applying for benefits is the only way to determine eligibility. Once approved, applicants will learn of their exact benefit amount.
You can apply for LIHEAP online using the electronic application provided by the state of Nebraska. This is the most convenient application method, as you can enter in all required information right from your own home. If you apply online, you must remember your account credentials. You will use this information to log into your account to view your benefits.
If you prefer not to complete a LIHEAP application online you may choose to receive a paper application by mail or pick one up from your local NDHHS office. This paper application contains the same information as the electronic version. This method may take longer to receive a decision. You may also choose to apply over the phone.
During the application process, you may need to submit a variety of documents proving your eligibility for the program. This includes:
- Proof of Nebraska residency (i.e. a lease agreement or mortgage)
- 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
- Information about type of fuel used
Find out more about the LIHEAP application process in our comprehensive guide.
How much could LIHEAP pay in Nebraska?
There is no standard LIHEAP benefits amount in Nebraska. Financial assistance varies between enrollees. After applying, the state determines how much assistance is available for each applicant. The amount depends on several factors, including income, type of fuel used, size of household, energy costs and household type. NE energy assistance benefits are paid directly to the fuel supplier on behalf of the household. The specific amount of coverage is only determined once the state has processed the candidate’s application.
The LIHEAP program helps ease the financial burden of heating and cooling bills, but it may not cover the entire cost. The NDHHS sets the minimum and maximum coverage amounts. For the 2018 fiscal year, beneficiaries can expect to receive financial assistance in amounts anywhere from $170 to $1,000.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
No matter how they apply for LIHEAP, Nebraska residents must wait for the state to review their file before receiving a decision. The state notifies applicants within a certain period if they qualify for coverage from one or more programs.
Anyone looking for their LIHEAP application status who applied online using the web portal should log in with their credentials. If their file was processed, they may be able to view the progress of their application. Others may consider contacting the NDHHS and asking to speak to a state official. The worker may have information about their application or outline any other steps they must take to complete the process.