by Bonnie Jones
(Denver, Colorado, USA)
In general, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or the LIHEAP is a Federal government-funded initiative that aims to assist low-income households on paying for their electric bills. Normally, the LIHEAP is designed to give assistance during winter as the consumption of electricity rises due to the heating demand on each home.
However, for places that do not have winter season, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is given to households that could not afford the extra cost of air conditioning during summer.
How does the program work?
The program usually gives priority to households with low income and high electric consumption. The State shall provide financial assistance to cover for electric consumption of beneficiaries.
What are the aims of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program?.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has 4 aims
1. To help households with low income to pay for the current electric bill,
2. To help households with low income to pay for their previous electric bill,
3. To help households with low income to lower down the future electric bill,
4. And to help households with low income to improve their homes to adapt on the weather condition, thus making their home more energy efficient.
Are the all programs the same on every state?
Since each state has their own needs, the programs may be different. Some states have Winter Financial Assistance Program. Some have Weathering Program. However, but the basic 4 aims remain the same.
What types of services are offered in case I am found eligible?.
All states offer the basic assistance. To be specific here are some of the common services you can get:
· Emergency assistance
· Furnace replacements
· Making your home energy efficient
· Furnace and chimney cleaning
· Minor repairs
· Heating assistance, and
· Energy cost reduction devices
Take note that these services may not be included on the program of your state. You may want to check on the particular services that are being offered in your state to get specific details.
Who can apply for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program?
Generally speaking, anyone can apply for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP as long as they reside on the state where the program is being offered.
Where do I go to apply for LIHEAP?
Each State that offers this program has designated offices where walk in applicants can apply. Some local County Social Services Offices accept application for LIHEAP. There are several States that provide downloadable application forms.
You may want to complete the application before you visit the office to make the eligibility determination process faster.
When is the right time to apply for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program?
Each State has its own set schedule on when to apply for the LowIncome Home Energy Assistance Program. You may check on them as to what particular date you can submit your application.
Am I 100% sure that I can get the grant after I have applied?.
Normally, you have to pass the eligibility screening in order to get the grant. For it only serves those who are earning below minimum, everyone can be accommodated but not everyone can become the beneficiary.
You may check out first the criteria of the program to determine if you have the chance to become a beneficiary. Each State has its own set of criteria in order to pass the program. You may also want to check on this to know where do you fall.
Should I pay for the application?.
No. Application is usually free, however, you may pay on the services you have made based on your income.
How long will the application process last?.
Each State has its own length of evaluation and processing period. The State of North Dakota for instance usually processes your application within 45 days. Other States give result from 1 week to 2 months.
After I have applied, what should I expect?.
After your application has been processed, you will receive either an email or a postal main stating that you are found eligible or your application has been denied.
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