Individuals who have problems paying their utility bills can apply for a grant known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program through the National Energy Assistance Referral line. Customer service operators direct callers to the local entity that processes the grant applications.
LIHEAP offers qualifying individuals and families help with energy bills, weatherization and energy-related home upgrades and repairs, and energy crisis assistance. These grants are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories; they are also available to Indian tribes and tribal organizations.
Families qualify for this grant based on income and other eligibility criteria; the income guidelines vary from state to state. The maximum qualifying income is 150 percent of the federal poverty level, and 110 percent is the minimum qualifying income.
Local administrators of this program have the flexibility to help households that have at least one member receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families aid, SNAP food benefits, or Supplemental Security Income. If a household can pass certain asset tests or has received a disconnection notice from its utility provider, it may also be deemed eligible. The LIHEAP program is a federally funded grant, but administration occurs at the local and state level.