LIHEAP in Oklahoma
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In Oklahoma LIHEAP is divided into two programs, the Regular Energy Assistance Program and the Energy Crisis Assistance Program. Both government-funded programs are responsible for providing benefits to low-income households that are having financial trouble paying energy bills. Regular benefits are available to low-income residents twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. The Energy Crisis Assistance Program benefits can be applied for at any time, but benefits are only provided when an applicant can show the household is in danger of losing heat or cooling due to financial hardship. Since the state can experience hot summers and extremely cold winters, OK energy assistance is an important benefit to provide for families struggling with low incomes.
Oklahoma utility assistance is not provided to every family who completes the program application process. Since the program has limited funding, it must adhere to strict low-income eligibility criteria before allotting financial assistance to applicants. Households must prove these income levels by providing paycheck stubs or other documentation. To find out more about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, including the benefits provided and additional eligibility criteria, review the following information.
Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Oklahoma
Before you apply for LIHEAP in Oklahoma, you should first review the benefits that are provided. It is important to note that if you are eligible for the program, your household will only receive one payment to assist with energy bill payments. After one payment has been received, your household is no longer eligible for additional assistance throughout the season. In most cases, regular benefits are only provided during specific summer or winter months. However, if you can prove you are facing a life-threatening situation due to a medical condition, you may qualify for financial assistance outside of these qualifying months. Emergency benefits can be applied for at any time throughout the year. You can apply for one of two different types of benefits, depending on your situation.
Regular Energy Assistance Program Benefits
If your family is not experiencing a crisis, you may receive benefits through the regular Oklahoma LIHEAP program, if you meet all LIHEAP eligibility guidelines. Through this regular program, your household will receive financial assistance with one heating or cooling bill, depending on the season in which you apply.
Energy Crisis Assistance Program Benefits
Emergency low income home energy assistance program benefits for an energy crisis are only available throughout the eligible summer or winter months. Your family may qualify for this one-time payment if you recently experienced one of the following:
- Your utility provider gave you an active cut-off date for your service.
- You received a notice from your utility provider to establish new service.
- Your utility provider informed you that you must obtain fuel for heating elsewhere.
In addition to meeting one of these eligibility factors, you must also meet the low-income qualifications set by the program.
What are the Oklahoma LIHEAP eligibility guidelines?
Oklahoma LIHEAP income guidelines are the most important eligibility criteria the program sets when determining who qualifies for benefits. Your household income must be at or below these guidelines, which are based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). The department may also analyze your assets and expenses when determining eligibility. You can be a tenant or homeowner to qualify for benefits, but the utility bill you are requesting financial assistance with must be in your name.
To find out more about the LIHEAP guidelines used to determine your eligibility for benefits, review our online guide.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Oklahoma
You can complete an Oklahoma LIHEAP application online by creating an account with the Department of Human Services’ website. You are required to provide information on your household members and income to determine eligibility. Additionally, you must present proof of the statements you provide in your application. You may need to scan and upload or mail in the following documents:
- Identification, such as a birth certificate or driver’s license.
- Earned income, such as paycheck stubs.
- Additional income, such as government benefit program statements.
- Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for all household members.
- Recent utility bills.
If you do not want to apply for LIHEAP online in OK, you can choose to visit a local department office to complete the application and provide the documentation necessary. All adult household members must apply for the program together, since multiple applications for the same address are not accepted.
How much does LIHEAP pay in Oklahoma?
If it is determined that you meet Oklahoma LIHEAP eligibility guidelines, the amount of financial assistance you receive through the program can vary. Your one-time payment depends on the number of household members you provide for and the amount of funding the program currently has. Additionally, the amount of benefits provided to you may also be determined by your current income and your recent utility bill totals over the past several months.
If you qualify for energy crisis LIHEAP program benefits, the amount you are provided may also be based on how much the utility company will charge for you to re-open a valid account. If you are moving to a new address and do not have the funds to open your new account, the department will analyze what is owed and may provide a portion of this total for you.
If you are seeking OK utility assistance and your bill groups together your water, cable and power, the program will only provide benefits for the energy portion of your bill. Since the program is focused on heating and cooling costs, you will be responsible for the rest of the bill, even if you qualify for benefits.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
You can check your OK LIHEAP application status online through the same portal you used to apply. If you applied in person at a local agency, you can call a representative at the agency to ask about your application. Keep in mind that it can take several weeks for the department to determine your eligibility and benefits.
If you do qualify for energy assistance in Oklahoma, it can take a few months for the department to present your benefits to the utility company. However, if you applied for Energy Crisis Assistance Program benefits, you should learn about your application status quickly.
To find out when you should check your status or receive your benefits, download and review our comprehensive guide.