Being federally funded, the LIHEAP Assistance Program aims to provide financial assistance to families that cannot afford to pay bills. Financial assistance is provided in the form of cash or credit to help families pay for their bills. This is an extremely progressive initiative taken by the government to help the families that struggle to make ends meet.
LIHEAP assistance program (LIHEAP)
The government conducts the LIHEAP assistance program, where financial aid is provided in both winter and summer seasons. In winter, the money received is invested in paying for the electric heater and gas bills. While in summer, absolute worse air conditioning in some houses results in the money going for paying air conditioning and electric bills.
The LIHEAP Assistance program is likely to grant cash to households that have higher needs. The higher needs of a household entail the number of family members and whether the family contains any senior, disabled, or little children. Many older people depend on various medical types of equipment for their survival. They are hooked on multiple machines and equipment, all of which are running on electricity. The severance of the electricity bill suddenly risks the survival of these patients.
The eligibility criteria for receiving electric bill assistance (LIHEAP) details may look confusing. It is best to visit the local LIHEAP offices and get the necessary information. The website for LIHEAP also provides guidance. The guidelines for such financial assistance are strict checks, and only then those qualified are given the help.
Fraudsters taking advantage of the generous schemes of the government is the reason why such critical guidelines are put forward and the background of the applicants extensively cross-checked. Due to the activity of such frauds, the genuinely needy people fail to receive the financial aid that they so desperately need. To check such fraudsters from stealing government funds reserved for the poor and low-income families, the government has taken several steps to ensure that the fraudsters don’t go unpunished.
Ways To Get Free Electric Bill Assistance
There are two types of grants that are available to the public who qualify for the low income home energy assistance program(LIHEAP). Cash grants are given once a year. But, crisis grants can provide more than once a year, depending on the emergency. Some of these emergencies include leaky lines or damaged electronic appliances. Sudden termination of utility lines or absence of fuel is also considered as the reason to give out crisis grants.
Sometimes, people availing of these grants do not receive money immediately. The money received by the people through the Electric Bill Assistance program (LIHEAP) is funding by the government. It entirely depends on the funds allocated to the program by Congress.
Eligibility For The Financial Assistance For Electric Bills
LIHEAP Assistance Program provides rules and guidelines that can easily be checked by a visit to the local LIHEAP office. Both categories of people who rent houses or own houses are eligible for liheap energy assistance. Showing proof of unpaid utility bills is not an absolute requirement. Neither is being on any other public assistance or welfare programs.
To be eligible to receive LIHEAP’s financial assistance for electric bills, the income limit of people applying should not be less than 110% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but also should not be more than 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
To receive help with gas and electric bills through low income home energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP), one must be a legally binding United States citizen and also be the one paying the various bills. Cash grants are allocated based on the income of the family, the household size, available resources, and the kind of fuel used the grants received by the families aid in their electric bill assistance.
For a household size of 1, the income limit is $18,735. For a household sizes of 2 and 3, the income limit is $25,365 and $31,995, respectively. For a household size of 4 and 5, the income limit is $38,625 and $45,255, respectively. Household of 6, the income limit is $51,885. For a household size of 7 and 8, the income limit is $58,515 and $65,145, respectively. All these income limits are on an annual basis.
How To Apply For Electric Bill Assistance
There are mainly three ways by which LIHEAP can be applied:
- On paper
An online application gives out can be downloaded, printed, and filled out. The handwriting application paper fills the local LIHEAP offices.
The application seen on the website COMPASS can fills online and submit then and there. No criterion states that the application form submits offline.
Application forms can easily fill and submitted by visiting the local LIHEAP offices.
Being qualified or registered on the website for LIHEAP does not mean that grants are to gives immediately. It depends on the number of available LIHEAP funds. After receiving the grant, the approval process to the day of payment to the utility company usually takes about 30 days. In the case of emergency grants, however, the process is accelerating, and payment gives to the utility company within 48 hours. Thus, the electric bill assistance or help with any other utility bill is more appreciated by the less fortunate people.
Types Of Assistance Provided by LIHEAP
LIHEAP assistance program offers two types of grants
- Cash Grant or Regular Energy Assistance Program (REAP)
It is important to note that LIHEAP doesn’t cover the whole utility bill. It only covers the part of heating or cooling costs. Regular Energy Assistance Program (REAP) provides cash directly to the utility company once a year. They will pay either the heating or the cooling bill. It grants once every year. Showing proof of unpaid utility bills is not a requisite.
- Crisis Grant or Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP)
It grants in case of emergencies. Those who have already availed of the Cash Grant can again apply in case of crisis. This is an entirely separate grant. It provides some extra financial aid that people desperately need in case of emergencies. The government offers these programs to help pay light bills or any other bills.
The amount of money reserved for the Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP) is determined every year. Also, the number of times crisis grants can apply by an individual is limited, and additional information on it can easily be found online or from the local LIHEAP offices.
How To Get Electric Bill Assistance In Emergency
People finding themselves suddenly in emergencies can apply to the Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP). The financial assistance for electric bills and other utility bills is a great help to those in need. It may take the authorities a few days to assist the needy. The emergencies may include:
- Absence of fuel. The sudden lack of fuel is bound to leave anyone flabbergasted, especially in the winters.
- Heating equipment that has malfunctioned or damaged permanently.
- Lines that are leaky and dangerous to run electronic appliances on.
- Abrupt cut-off from the main heating source.
- Irregularities and the complete issue of not having fuel.
- Termination of utility lines due to various reasons.
- A sudden strike of natural disasters leads to the complete wreckage of utility lines or damage to the power source.
The LIHEAP assistance program is a blessing to those who cannot afford proper living conditions. Low-income families and other people in need turn to the government for help in paying various bills. In the cold winter, an electric heater and the means to pay for it mean the world to these families. Similarly, in summer, air conditioning is a necessity for people where the temperature is high, and the housing is stuffy. The government’s assistance with electric bills helps these people in ways more than one. Some organizations and churches provide free electric bill assistance programs for low income families and needy people.
Assisting families with energy costs is one of the objectives of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). In addition to weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs, we provide federally funded assistance with managing home energy bills, energy crises, and weatherization costs.
Applicants must need assistance with home energy costs to be eligible for this benefit program. A person who is seeking benefits through SNAP, SSI, or TANF, or whose family members are receiving benefits through those programs, may be automatically eligible. The annual household income (before taxes) of the household member(s) must be below any of the following amounts: *For households with more than eight people, add $7,080 per additional person. To ensure the most accurate guidelines, speak with the appropriate managing agency.
If you want to know if you are eligible to receive LIHEAP benefits, contact your state or tribal LIHEAP office. For assistance submitting an application, please call 1 866 674-6327.
You have to submit the following documents for the LIHEAP program:
It can either be a notice of disconnection from the utility company or a letter from the utility company certifying that the service has been disconnected.
Utility bills from the past few months (or a copy of them).
Photo identification is issued by the government.
Every member of your household who receives income must provide proof of income.
Every member of your family should have a Social Security card.
Barbara Muller says
My husband and I have various medical issues. Our air conditioner does not work and cannot be fixed. It is sweltering heat that prevents me from cooking or cleaning. We are both on SS and Medicare, so our funds are very limited. Please we need your help!!!
We’re so sorry to hear about this. It’s certainly a tough situation to be in. You can apply for government assistance or some charity organization that can help you with free air conditioners.
Weatherization Assistance Program & Metropolitan Action Commission (MCA) may help you. You can contact them.