(AscendHealthy.com) – Especially during winter and summer months, the costs of heating your home can get quite overwhelming. For most Americans, energy bills cost hundreds per month, but they’re necessary to keep our families in safe, comfortable temperatures. If you or someone you know struggles to afford cooling and heating costs, there is a program that can help, and it’s called LIHEAP. LIHEAP is an energy assistance program established to help households cover ongoing high energy bills and emergency energy bills.
Only families that meet certain criteria may qualify for LIHEAP, but if you’re able to qualify, you should certainly take advantage of this energy assistance program.
What Is LIHEAP?
So many Americans are struggling financially, still struggling with the aftermath of the pandemic economy, new tech layoffs, and enduring uncertainty as the world remains somewhat unstable. This makes it tough for many to get their bills paid on time. You may find that you need to juggle different bills to maintain, but after a while, that strategy just doesn’t work.
Fortunately, there are some government resources for struggling people, and LIHEAP is one. It stands for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and it specifically targets families struggling to pay heating and cooling costs.
If you’ve been late on energy bills, you understand the stress of getting a shutoff notice. While it’s illegal for energy companies to shut off your energy in certain temperatures, they will certainly do it when you’re not in that temperature range, meaning some families face the difficulty of having their utilities shut on and off over a hot or cold season.
LIHEAP can help you prevent this from happening by providing assistance quickly. It’s meant for immediate, emergency funds, or to cover repairs that present an expensive inefficiency when it comes to heating. If you use water for heating and cooling, LIHEAP may also cover your water bill.
Do You Qualify for LIHEAP?
As with most government assistance programs, qualifications get managed by each individual state. However, there are a few common factors when it comes to whether you could qualify, including household income. This is because the average cost of living, income, and energy costs can vary so much between states.
Here’s another interesting feature of LIHEAP: if you qualify for other government assistance programs like TANF, SSI, or SNAP, you might be able to qualify for LIHEAP even if you do not otherwise fit the qualifications. If you’re not already receiving another form of government assistance, you’ll find that your household size and current incomes are the key determining factors of whether or not you qualify for LIHEAP.
LIHEAP is a government assistance program that is intended to be temporary. Once your household’s total income exceeds the maximum income level, you will no longer be eligible for the program.
How Can You Apply for LIHEAP?
The LIHEAP application process can take about 30 days, with payment generally following in the 15 days after approval. However, if the emergency is severe, you could get assistance in as little as 48 hours.
To apply, go through your state’s own LIHEAP office. Be ready to provide documents such as id, income, social security number, income proof, bank statements, and information about other government assistance benefits.
If you’re on one of the aforementioned government assistance programs, reach out to your caseworker to see if you’ve automatically qualified for LIHEAP. There could be very little paperwork involved.
Every American deserves a well-regulated temperature in their home, regardless of how much it costs. Keep your family safe and apply for LIHEAP as soon as you have a need.
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