LIHEAP in New Jersey
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New Jersey LIHEAP is a government assistance program designed to lower the cost of home energy bills. It is part of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which is available in every U.S. State. The program is open to low-income renters and homeowners across the state who cannot afford to pay utility or energy bills. Although it is a federal program, each state is authorized to determine the specific guidelines, benefits and program names.
In New Jersey, it is often referred to as the Home Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP eligibility is determined by Department of Community Affairs. To qualify, individuals must provide proof of meeting the eligibility requirements of the program. This includes having incomes that fall within the designated range. The program is only open to residents of New Jersey.
Everyone must apply for LIHEAP to see if they are eligible to benefit from the program. The state reviews all applications and notifies candidates of their eligibility status. Approved applicants receive financial aid in the form of grants, which do not need to be repaid. To learn more about the program and find out whether you are eligible, continue reading the sections discussed below.
Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in New Jersey
Energy assistance in New Jersey is provided through the Department of Community Affairs. The program helps lower the overall cost of heating and cooling, as well as provides emergency fuel deliveries to those in need. The state offers utility bill assistance for low income families through the distribution of monetary grants. Depending on an applicant’s income and household size, he or she may qualify for several assistance programs, grants or other types of federal aid.
Emergency fuel delivery is provided to low-income enrollees at risk of running out of fuel or having their utilities shut off. The Winter Termination Program (WTP) protects enrollees from losing fuel during the winter months. The grants provided through this program are paid directly to the fuel supplier on behalf of the household. The exact amount of benefits a household receives depends on their income and household size.
Utility assistance is also provided in the form of making energy-efficient home improvements. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps low-income renters and homeowners lower their energy costs by making their homes more energy efficient. This includes services like weather stripping, caulking, insulation and others.
What are the New Jersey LIHEAP eligibility guidelines?
The New Jersey LIHEAP income guidelines are set by the Department of Community Affairs. All applicants must have incomes that fall within the specific range according to the size of their household. LIHEAP eligibility in New Jersey is determined during the application process. Applicants must submit proof of meeting all the program guidelines. After reviewing the application, the state notifies the applicant of a decision regarding approval or denial.
The LIHEAP guidelines state that all applicants must prove that they are New Jersey residents. Additionally, all applicants must report their income to be considered for the program. Income includes (but is not limited to):
- Wages, tips and salaries
- Unemployment benefits
- Pensions and retirement money
- Alimony and child support
- Worker’s compensation
- Social Security
Learn more about LIHEAP eligibility requirements by downloading our free guide.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in New Jersey
To apply for energy assistance in New Jersey, all candidates must submit an application to their local Community Action Agency (CAA). Agencies are located throughout the state. This is the only way to apply for benefits through this program. Applicants cannot apply for LIHEAP online, as there is no electronic application available.
You can find the LIHEAP application online, which you can download and print at your disposal. Doing this before visiting a CAA speeds up the process. Be sure to fill in the application completely with all required information. If your application is missing important information, you may experience a delayed approval process.
Alternatively, you can get a LIHEAP application form at one of the CAA offices and complete it with the help of a worker. It is suggested that you call and schedule an appointment to avoid long lines.
You must apply for benefits between the months of October and April. You may need to submit several documents proving your eligibility for the program. This includes:
- Proof of identity (i.e. a driver’s license or birth certificate)
- Proof of residence (i.e. a mortgage or lease agreement)
- Proof of income (i.e. a W-2 or federal tax return)
- Copies of recent energy bills
- Information about type of fuel used
How much does LIHEAP pay in New Jersey?
The amount of LIHEAP grants in New Jersey depends on a number of factors, including income, household size and type of fuel used. Heating assistance benefits are paid directly to the supplier on behalf of the household for applicants who use natural gas or electricity. Other enrollees receive a two-party check made out to them as well as the utility provider. The grant amount is only identified after the state processes the application.
This energy assistance program was implemented to lower the cost of heating and utility bills. For most families, the grant will not completely cover the amount of the bill. Enrollees must continue making payments for their utility bills to stay in the program. The state sets the minimum and maximum coverage amounts allowed by the program, which can change yearly to reflect changes in fuel costs. Currently, enrollees may receive grants between $47 and $1,056 depending on their household size, fuel type and county in which they live.
Find out more about LIHEAP benefit amounts in our comprehensive guide.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
All candidates must apply for LIHEAP in New Jersey by submitting their files to a Community Action Agency. State officials must then review the applicant’s information to determine if he or she is eligible for assistance. Since applicants cannot apply for LIHEAP online, there is no way to track the status of an application on the web. Typically, applications are processed within 60 days of the date of submission.
Applicants interested in learning the status of their application may consider calling the number of the office they visited. Agency officials may discuss their LIHEAP application status (if available) and explain whether there are any other steps they must take to complete the process. Candidates must submit their applications to the agency that services their area to be considered for the program.