The Low-income home energy assistance program (also referred to as the LIHEAP program) is a federally-funded program that allows low-income residents to receive utility assistance to help pay for either cooling or heating bills.
This program provides direct payments to individuals that qualify.
You qualify if you are considered ‘low-income’ by the government…and this definition changes from year-to-year.
But for 2012, the current income guidelines are as follows:
Household size Maximum Income
Video Overview of LIHEAP
Even if you are slightly over these limits, I would still recommend contacting the LIHEAP office and applying anyway…you could be eligible for partial benefits. You will never know unless you ask.
How To Apply
Even though this is a federal program, it is coordinated at the state and local level. For this reason your point of contact will be your local Office of the Aging, State LIHEAP office or your local power company.
How To Find Your Local Office of the Aging
For those of you who are unfamiliar, I put together a quick video to show you how to find your local Office of the Aging…you can view it below:
Finding Your Local LIHEAP Office
Regardless of where you live, there is a great website that will help with this process.
Once you go to the website, you will see something that looks like this…
Just click on your state and you will see…
- Your state’s LIHEAP contact information.
- Contact information for the Federal Weatherization Assistance Program
- A listing of local utilities that you can apply to directly…you just have to scroll through them to find your local utility
Federal Weatherization Assistance Program
The Federal Weatherization Assistance Program (known as WAP) works similarly to the LIHEAP outlined above, but instead of making payments to assist low-income families with their heating or cooling bills, WAP provides funds so that low-income families can save money by making their homes more efficient to use less energy.
This will allow these low-income families to permanently reduce their utility bills.
The services that are performed (just to give a few examples) can include adding insulation to attics and walls, weather stripping doors and windows or insulating piping.
Video Overview of the Federal Weatherization
Being that this program is administered at the local level, the requirements do vary from state-to-state and municipality-to-municipality, however they are similar to the LIHEAP program described above.
You should be aware that preferential treatment is given to seniors and to families that have children or those with disabilities.
All work done is weather-related…and does not include siding, new roof, etc…
How To Apply
You will need to contact your local state agency handling the WAP program. Click here to go to a project map, select your state and find out the contact information to get started.
And if you have any problems finding the contact information, your local Office of the Aging can help.
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