Utility Bill Assistance



Utility Bill Assistance From LIHEAP

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps families that are struggling keep their power, heat, or electricity on. The federal government funded resource is for lower income families, households living in poverty and the elderly. LIHEAP grants will help them pay their utility bills, including heating and cooling bills. Any financial aid is offered through either annual or crisis grants. You do not need to have an unpaid bill to receive assistance.

If it is a non emergency situation that a family needs help with, LIHEAP will provide a one-time cash grant benefit to qualified households that is intended to be used for the payment of energy bills. The amount of the cash benefit paid will be determined by the families income, household size, fuel type used, and also geographic location and the state in which a homeowner lives. Another factor will be how much money the federal government allocates to LIHEAP for a certain year. Generally the money is paid out in the fall, winter, or spring months.

Applying for low income LIHEAP energy assistance

An overdue utility bill or cutoff notice is not required in order to get assistance. You also do not have to own your home or even pay energy bills directly to be eligible for this assistance. If you want aid, your source of fuel does not even need to be natural gas or electricity in order to receive assistance from the LHEAP assistance program.





LIHEAP Crisis Grants are available if a family has an emergency situation and if they are in jeopardy of losing their heat or utility service. The application process is streamlined as well as accelerated. Emergency situations can include:

  • Broken cooling or heating equipment, leaking lines, or an issue with your system that must be fixed or replaced.
  • Termination of utility service, or threatened termination of service. This will be for any power source, whether lights, electricity, natural gas or heat.
  • Lack of heating fuel.
  • If a family is in danger of being without fuel or of having their utility service terminated.
  • Find LIHEAP utility bill assistance programs for your state.

In a crisis the funds can be issued in a matter of days. You can also learn about other forms of assistance that can be combined with LIHEAP, such as mortgage loan modifications. Agencies that offer LIHEAP, which can include a social service organization or community action agency, are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to other services as well. The information is free to request, and there is no obligation. The number is 1-866-674-6327.

Who does LIHEAP help?

LIHEAP provides, in a timely manner, the highest level of heating and utility assistance to those families that have the highest energy costs, the lowest incomes and / or the most need for help in relation to their household income, while taking into account family size. Much of the federal grants goes to the elderly, disabled, and families in poverty who would have their health at risk if they lost power. The amount of the grant given to a household will vary and is based on those factors. It is intended to be a short term solution and not address all needs of the client.

The LIHEAP program recognizes the following two types of low-income households as having the highest home energy heating needs: high energy burden households and vulnerable households. This ranges from senior citizens to the disabled among others. So they will get priority when it comes to any energy bill help. But other struggling families can apply as well.





To learn more or apply, call the federal government referral number at 1-866-674-6327. Callers will be given the contact information for an application center near them.

By: Jon McNamara


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