The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides cash grants to help low-income families pay their heating bills. Households in imminent danger of losing heat are also eligible for emergency subsidies.
The cash award is a one-time payment that is made directly to the utility company/fuel supplier and credited to your bill. These grants range from $500 to $1,500 based on fuel type, home size, and income. Remember that this is a grant that does not require repayment.
LIHEAP has programs that can help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These programs lower the risk of health and safety problems caused by heating and cooling situations and practices that aren’t safe.
LIHEAP grants are given to renters and homeowners and are based on the size and income of the household. They do not have to be paid back. Customers of PGW can print out an application for LIHEAP. Customers who don’t have utility service or who have been told they will lose it in 10 days can apply for both Crisis Assistance and LIHEAP. Crisis Assistance is an extra federal grant of up to $1,200 given to people who qualify based on their income.
Can You Get It?
Most households that pay for their own heat and make less than a certain amount of money can get LIHEAP. LIHEAP can be used by most homeowners and most renters. The limit on income is 150% of the federal poverty guidelines:
This program starts at the beginning and ends at the end. On October 3, 2022, it all began. The application period will end on May 15, 2023. You won’t be able to get these benefits if you try to apply after that date.
LSPs may send mail-in applications to homes that don’t meet the criteria for being at-risk. On November 1, 2022, applicants and vendors started getting emails about their benefits, and in-person appointments also started.
A month later, the energy moratorium went into effect. EAP clients who qualify for it can no longer be cut off from electricity and heating.
On March 15, 2023, the energy moratorium will come to an end. Lastly, the deadline for EAP applications is May 15 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time. Local service agencies can take up to 55 days to decide if you are eligible for this benefit after you have filled out the application.
In the meantime, please keep paying your bills until the benefit shows up on your account. Remember that this is a one-time payment of $1,200 for the whole year. Do well with it.
We’re talking about a once-a-year benefit that can help people pay for their home energy costs or get their power back on if they lose it. But a benefit from an EAP won’t pay for all of their heating and electricity costs.
Please do your best to keep paying your bills on time. Using Indiana as an example, these benefits will go to households that make 60% or less of the state’s median income or less. But the most important thing is to learn more about how this will be used and how it will be rolled out.
Help in a Hurry
Households that are having trouble paying for heat may be able to get more help through the LIHEAP crisis program. Some examples of emergencies are:
- There may be broken heating equipment or lines that leak and need to be fixed or replaced.
- Not enough fuel
- The main source of heat or the second source of heat (used to run the main source of heat or if the main source of heat doesn’t work) has been turned off completely.
- The risk of not having fuel (less than a 15 day supply)
- The risk of having your utility service cut off (you’ve been told that it will be in the next 60 days).
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