LIHEAP in New Hampshire
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The New Hampshire Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a government assistance plan that helps lower the cost of home heating and energy bills. Each state offers a version of this federal program. In New Hampshire, it is known as the Fuel Assistance Program. It helps thousands of low-income renters and homeowners afford utility and heating costs. Energy assistance is provided through the Office of Strategic Initiatives, or OSI.
The program is open to homeowners and renters whose gross household income is not enough to cover the cost of energy bills. To be eligible, applicants must submit proof of meeting the income, household size and energy usage requirements. Candidates must also be New Hampshire residents as well as U.S. citizens.
Candidates must apply for LIHEAP in New Hampshire to determine if they are eligible for aid. During the application process, the state reviews all applications and supporting documents before approving or rejecting a candidate. LIHEAP program qualifications and benefits differ from state to state, so it is important that New Hampshire 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.
Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in New Hampshire
Heating assistance and other forms of financial aid are distributed by the New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI). The department also partners with various other branches to provide assistance to residents of the state. The state offers utility bill assistance for low income families through several types of aid programs for low-income renters and homeowners. To qualify for any of these programs, candidates must meet the income, residence type and household size requirements set by the OSI.
The LIHEAP program provides financial assistance to help cover the cost of several energy and utility sources. Low-income families who cannot afford to pay their bills may apply for aid. 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.
One type of energy assistance offered by the OSI is the Electric Assistance Program, or EAP. Eligible enrollees receive discounts on their monthly electricity bills through this program. All utility companies in New Hampshire support this program, so applicants may apply regardless of the area in which they live.
The Fuel Assistance Program has specific guidelines for emergencies. It can provide an emergency delivery of fuel to households at risk of having utilities shut off. Likewise, this program can delay a shut-off notice, extending the period for which the household can pay the past-due bill.
New Hampshire LIHEAP has a Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP. Eligible households are those who cannot afford to make crucial repairs or improvements to make their home more energy efficient. High energy costs are likely due to improper insulation or sealings. Weatherization services include wall and ceiling insulation, caulking and weather stripping.
What are the New Hampshire LIHEAP eligibility guidelines?
The LIHEAP guidelines in New Hampshire are set by the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) and may change each year to reflect the most current energy costs. Each state is responsible for determining the specific qualifications that all applicants must meet in order to receive financial aid. To meet the LIHEAP eligibility requirements in New Hampshire, applicants must submit information about their income, household size and energy costs.
The OSI sets LIHEAP income guidelines to determine whether a household is eligible for benefits. Applicants must have total gross incomes that fall within the designated range in order to be approved for the program. All types of income must be reported during the application process, which includes:
- Tips, wages and salaries
- Retirement funds
- Alimony and child support
- Worker’s compensation
- Unemployment benefits
- Social Security benefits
To learn more about LIHEAP eligibility requirements, download our free guide.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in New Hampshire
To apply for energy assistance in New Hampshire, applicants must visit an office location. Applying in-person is the only way candidates may find their eligibility for the program. Community Action Agencies are located throughout the state. It is recommended that all applicants call and make an appointment to avoid waiting in long lines.
You cannot access the LIHEAP application online as the OSI website does not offer an electronic version of the application. Agency staff will provide you with a LIHEAP application form as well as inform you about all the information needed to apply. The form is not available online; you must schedule an appointment to receive the paper application.
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 residence (i.e. a lease agreement or mortgage)
- Proof of identity (i.e. a birth certificate or driver’s license)
- Proof of income (i.e. a W-2 or federal tax return)
- Copies of most recent energy bills
How much does LIHEAP pay in New Hampshire?
LIHEAP benefits in New Hampshire are determined during the application process. The amount of financial assistance is not standard; it depends on the applicant’s 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. The grants distributed by the OSI do not need to be repaid. Likewise, they are not considered to be forms of income when applying for other assistance programs.
The amount of energy assistance varies between applicants. The NH OSI determines the minimum and maximum coverage amounts each year, which reflect cost of living and fuel at the time. Currently, enrollees in the Fuel Assistance Program receive financial aid benefits in the amount of $105 to $1,575. The average household receives $638 in benefits each year.
Find out more about LIHEAP benefit payment amounts by downloading our guide.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
Candidates must submit a LIHEAP application form to determine whether they qualify for financial assistance. The OSI determines who is eligible for the program upon reviewing the application. Applicants must wait for the state to complete their review before receiving a decision about eligibility.
The state notifies all applicants of this decision and states specific coverage amounts if they are approved. Those interested in checking their LIHEAP application status may consider calling the Community Action Agency at which they applied to speak to a representative. He or she may provide information on the status of their file.