In Wyoming LIHEAP is referred to as the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) and is administered by the Department of Family Services (DFS). The program is dedicated to providing financial assistance to low-income households that are finding it hard to pay for their heating costs. Benefits are only available to eligible residents during the winter months and applicants must meet all program qualifications before assistance is provided.
This WY energy assistance program is federally funded each year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, so the eligibility guidelines are strict. This ensures that limited program funding is distributed only to residents who are in need. In addition to regular benefits, the program also provides weatherization services for free or at discounted rates and crisis benefits. These emergency benefits are only provided to applicants who are at risk of losing the heating service to their homes. Read on to learn about the benefits of LIHEAP.
Learn About Types of LIHEAP Energy Assistance in Wyoming
The LIEAP program provides heating assistance in Wyoming to needy households that cannot afford to pay their heating bills. The financial assistance is usually directly distributed to the eligible household’s utility provider, if applicable. It cannot be used to heat non-residential spaces or to obtain extra bulk fuel for the home. Benefits can be provided to qualifying applicants to use for most heating sources, including:
- Diesel heating oil.
- Natural gas.
The WY Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program also provides crisis assistance and weatherization services to applicants who qualify for the program and can prove the need for this help.
Learn About Crisis Assistance
Households can apply for LIHEAP crisis assistance if they are facing utility shut off due to unpaid bills. Additionally, an eligible household may qualify for crisis benefits if it:
- Has a household member who is facing a life-threatening situation or has a medical condition that makes it unhealthy to live without heat.
- Cannot afford the deposit to open a new heating service account with a vendor.
- Is dealing with a heating system failure during the winter months.
To obtain these crisis benefits, an applicant must first apply and qualify for regular LIEAP program benefits. Then, he or she must request these crisis benefits by completing an additional application and providing proof that the household is facing one of these emergency situations.
Learn About Weatherization Services
In addition to utility bill assistance for low income families in Wyoming, the LIEAP program also includes the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Through these program benefits, eligible households are provided with free services to weatherize their homes. By completing tasks such as sealing doors and windows, these homeowners or tenants can experience lower monthly heating costs. Weatherization professionals can also educate homeowners on how to conserve energy to keep their heating bills affordable during the winter months.
What are the Wyoming LIHEAP requirements?
There are strict LIHEAP income guidelines in Wyoming since the program has limited government funding each year. The low-income requirements may change annually since they are based on the state’s median income level. To qualify, a household must prove it earns a certain percentage or lower of the income qualification, based on the number of family members living together. All adult household members must claim the income they receive each month, including government benefits or child support payments. Throughout the application process, program representatives will confirm the household’s income to ensure the applicant qualifies for benefits.
In addition, WY LIHEAP guidelines also state that an applicant must prove he or she is a resident in the state and must also provide proof of a need for financial assistance for heating bills. Either a tenant or a homeowner can apply for benefits, but tenants must also provide additional information about their rental agreements. If an adult household member is receiving government benefits from public assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the family may automatically meet the program’s eligibility requirements.
To find out more about LIHEAP, download and review our informative guide.
How to Apply for LIHEAP in Wyoming
To obtain benefits from the Wyoming LIHEAP program, you must complete the application process and a program representative must review your eligibility. You can complete the LIHEAP application online by visiting the program’s website, creating an account and completing the questions. However, before you attempt to apply for the program online, you should gather the information that you will need to complete the process. You may need to provide:
- Your Social Security Number and contact information.
- Birthdates and information on all household members.
- Income information.
- Substantial expenses, such as child support payments.
- Recent utility bills.
If you do not want to apply for energy assistance online in WY, you can call the office and request that a blank application be mailed to you. Once completed, you can choose to mail, email or fax it to the department office. Additionally, you can visit the office in person to submit the application. Keep in mind, the department requests several pieces of documentation or additional forms to prove your eligibility, including:
- Rental Verification Form, if you are renting your home.
- Proof of gross income for all adult household members.
- Details on other income provided to your household or expenses your household incurs.
- Proof of identification for all household members.
- Self-Declaration of Zero Income Form, if no income is earned by your household.
To find out more about how to apply for LIHEAP, download our free guide.
How much could LIHEAP pay in Wyoming?
After you apply for energy assistance in Wyoming, you may wonder how much financial assistance you will receive if you are deemed eligible for the program. The benefit amount you will receive is based on several factors, including:
- The size of your household.
- How much you owe for your utility bills.
- Your household income.
- The type of heating source your home utilizes.
- The amount of program funding available.
Keep in mind, the energy assistance provided to your home through the program is not meant to cover all your household heating expenses. The benefit amount will usually only cover a portion of the heating bill and you are responsible for providing the rest. The benefit payment is also usually distributed directly to your heating service provider. This ensures the financial assistance is allocated correctly and your home can maintain heat throughout the winter.
How can I check the status of my LIHEAP application?
To check your Wyoming LIHEAP application status, you can sign into your online account if you applied at home. However, if you submitted your application by mail, email, fax or in person, you should contact the office and speak with a representative. If you applied for crisis benefits, you should call the crisis hotline and receive information on how to obtain your benefits right away.
However, if you applied for regular utility assistance through the program, it can take the department several weeks to process your application. Keep in mind, you can only apply for LIEAP program benefits during the winter months and you will only receive assistance if there is still program funding available for the year.