The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was created to help people with low income afford their home energy costs. The first step to getting financial aid through LIHEAP is to apply. It costs you nothing, and it’s not as hard as you may think.
How do I apply for LIHEAP?
Each state, territory, and tribe has its own LIHEAP guidelines, application, and deadlines. You must apply for LIHEAP by working with the agency in your state that’s in charge of providing benefits. In general, applying to LIHEAP involves the steps below.
1. See if you qualify for LIHEAP
LIHEAP is a need-based program created for households with low income. LIHEAP income maximums (the highest income you can have and still get LIHEAP benefits) differs across states. Contact your local LIHEAP office for the most up-to-date LIHEAP income guidelines for your state. You can also call the toll-free LIHEAP phone number at 1-866-674-6327.
2. Complete and send in your LIHEAP application
Every state has a certain timeframe for accepting LIHEAP applications each year, so be sure to find out the deadline for your state. Some states want applications to be mailed in, while others allow you to apply for LIHEAP online. You can also apply in person in some areas.
When you apply for LIHEAP, you’ll be asked for some basic information, such as:
- Your name, home address, and Social Security number (if you have one)
- Your housing situation (rent or own)
- The size of your household
- Your main heating source (such as gas or electric)
- Name of your utility company (fuel or electricity provider)
- Monthly income for you and other members of your household
Reach out to your local LIHEAP office to find out more about how to apply. Be sure to tell your agency if you need help completing an application.
3. Find out what you need to verify your LIHEAP application
In addition to completing a LIHEAP application, you will be asked for documents that verify (prove) the information you already gave. Depending on your state, these documents may include:
- Proof of identity, such as a valid driver's license
- Proof of income for each household member
- Mortgage statement and/or property tax bill
- A recent copy of your lease
- Your most recent primary electric and/or heating bill
4. Wait for the decision on your application
If you are approved for a LIHEAP grant, you will get a letter in the mail. If your LIHEAP application is denied, you will get a denial notice explaining the reason. Typically, you can expect a decision within 30-60 days of sending in your application. If you need emergency energy help, you may be able to get a decision sooner.
Note: Since there is only so much LIHEAP money available each year, only a certain number of households can get help with energy costs. 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.
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 if I don't agree with my LIHEAP decision?
If your application was denied by your local LIHEAP office, you have the right to appeal. Information on how to appeal is usually found in your denial notice. You can also contact your local LIHEAP office for details on what to do next.