Living in a home that’s too cold or too warm can put your health and well-being at risk. If you’re having trouble paying your utility bills, help is available.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides short-term financial aid to help roughly 6.7 million U.S. households stay safe and healthy during winter and summer.1 LIHEAP benefits can be used for home energy bills and home improvements that help a household use less energy.

Who qualifies for this home energy and home improvement assistance?

LIHEAP is for people with low income who cannot pay their home energy bills. To qualify, you must show a financial need and meet LIHEAP income guidelines. Here are some things to know about liheap qualifications:

  • If you rent, you can apply for LIHEAP assistance whether you pay your energy bills directly or through your monthly rent. If you live in public or subsidized housing, your ability to get LIHEAP depends on where you live and how you pay your energy costs.
  • You may automatically qualify for LIHEAP if you or another person in your household is enrolled in other government benefit programs. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Qualifying for LIHEAP doesn’t mean you will get help, since there are limited funds available each year. That’s why it’s important to apply for LIHEAP as soon as you know you qualify and before the application deadline for your state.

What are the liheap income guidelines?

Each state can set its own LIHEAP income limits within government guidelines. Current LIHEAP income guidelines set household income limits at no more than 150% of the federal poverty guideline (FPG) OR no more than 60% of a state's median income (SMI).

What does this look like in real numbers? Here are some state-specific examples:

  • A two-person household in Texas with an annual household income of $36,222 or less might qualify for LIHEAP.
  • A two-person household in Ohio with an annual household income of $38,208 or less might qualify for LIHEAP.
  • A two-person household in Florida with an annual household income of $34,048 or less might qualify for LIHEAP.
  • A two-person household in California with a monthly household income of $42,372 or less might qualify for LIHEAP.

LIHEAP income maximums (the highest income you can have and still qualify) are different across states. Some states let you take deductions for medical and other costs above a certain amount. These deductions reduce your "countable" income to make it easier to qualify for LIHEAP assistance. Countable (also called base) income includes wages, salaries and tips, and benefits like Social Security.

Can you apply for LIHEAP over the phone?

You can find out if you're eligible to receive LIHEAP benefits by contacting your local LIHEAP office online, and you can also get help applying by calling the toll-free phone number at 866-674-6327.

What is “household income?”

Household income counts the income of every person who lives under one roof. This includes your spouse and any dependents or other family members currently living with you. Even if the people you live with aren't related to you, or their income isn’t used for household bills, you must still include their income in your total amount. In terms of LIHEAP, household income generally refers to gross (before taxes) income.

Where can I get more information on LIHEAP?

You can find everything you need here at BenefitsCheckUp. Learn about LIHEAP program benefits, LIHEAP income guidelines, and how to apply for LIHEAP. To begin, enter your ZIP code and click on “Housing & Utilities” to see what benefits are offered.


1. A Light for Those in Need: LIHEAP Nears Fifth Decade of Service, LIHEAP (May 2022). Found on the internet at