For a family to survive, food, water, and energy are the basic needs that the Government of that country needs to ensure that its citizens are having easy access to them. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, lots of families have been affected badly in terms of their livelihood and hence managing all the needs with low income was a big problem.
This is where the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was introduced to offer some financial support to families who have been paying a large amount of their income on energy bills.
What Is Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)?
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a government program designed to help families with their heating bills. Low-Income households who are faced with an energy emergency can contact their local LIHEAP program office and request an emergency grant.
- This could be in the form of a cash grant to help pay for fuel bills until regular payment is made. It is designed to help families with incomes just above the federal poverty level who cannot afford heating fuel/energy bills. Households are selected on income and fuel type.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) authorizes each year funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help low-income households pay for their heating bills.
- The amount of funds awarded depends in part on how much residents spent on home heating and cooling during the previous year as well as other factors, such as household size, income levels, and household composition.
The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited to your bill or delivered as a lump sum transfer to your bank account.
Who Is Eligible For Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)?
For the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the applicant has to take every point seriously before applying for it. Moreover, for the LIHEAP program, the families must meet the necessary eligibility criteria point that has been listed below:
- The family applying for LIHEAP needs to come under the basic income requirements so that the cash grant can be accommodated accordingly.
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- The family should not have an unpaid bill related to the heating bills to their name and should not be on public assistance.
- Apart from it, help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program will be only provided to those families who have been without fuel or are no longer having any energy supply to them.
Grantees are required to monitor the efficiency or effectiveness of any home energy improvements throughout the project period, with changes noted and used to track progress toward meeting program goals.
Relevant Dates For Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
One of the easiest ways for Low-Income Americans to get energy assistance is by enrolling in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program helps families that are struggling with their energy bills as they live on a tight budget.
The program has been divided into four quarters where in each quarter, the family has to update the government regarding all the information about grants received and other things. For the fourth quarter, the last date is 31st October and all the families need to update the information according to it.
How To Apply For Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program?
For Applying for the Low-Income Home Energy Associate Program, the applicant has two options for it. The applicant can go for the online option as well as the offline mode too. Through these two modes, the applicant can easily seek all the benefits of this program.
In the online mode, the applicant has to visit the online portal of the Low-Income Home Energy Associate Program. However, for easy and better access to it, the applicants can use COMPASS which is an online tool used in Pennsylvania to understand everything better about the health and other service programs running around the country.
Apart from the online portal, the applicants can also use the offline mode where they have to download the application form and have to fill it out. However, for the offline application form, the applicant needs to provide several documents attached to it. These documents are
- Identity Proof
- Income Certificate
- Residence Proof
- Social Security Number which is valid and secure
- Energy Bills with Residence Proof
After filling out the form and attaching the documents, the applicant can submit it to their local county assistance office which is available for these applications. Furthermore, in both modes, the application will be reviewed by all the officers there and a notice will be given to the applicant in 30 days. In the notice, clear information about the eligibility criteria of the applicant and the money they will be receiving will be available in it.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program has been helpful to many families who have been facing problems in paying the energy bills of their homes. Families with low income are having other major problems and hence if they get some relief from these programs, then it is a major win for the Government.
The main aim of the program is to help those families who are in danger of getting their energy supply cut or are under the immense pressure of paying huge bills for energy use.
Furthermore, the program has been running for the last few years and has been helping more than 150 tribes each year. Apart from it, the data revealed by the Government, it has been seen that many families in their states have reaped the benefits of this Program and will continue to get more in the upcoming years.