Q:

How do you apply for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program?

A:

Quick Answer

Consumers struggling with utility bills can apply for assistance under the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program by contacting the National Energy Assistance Referral line, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services. NEAR line operators direct callers to the local organization that processes LIHEAP applications.

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Full Answer

LIHEAP offers assistance with bill payment, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs, states the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. LIHEAP assistance is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and to Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

Households qualify for LIHEAP based on income guidelines, categorical eligibility and other eligibility criteria, notes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Income guidelines vary by state. The LIHEAP statute sets 150 percent of the federal poverty level as the maximum qualifying income and 110 percent as the minimum.

The LIHEAP statute also gives local area administrators of LIHEAP programs the flexibility to assist households that have at least one member receiving aid under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the Supplemental Security Income program or the SNAP food stamp program, known as categorical eligibility. Households can also be deemed eligible if they pass certain asset tests or have received a disconnection notice, according to Office of Community Services. LIHEAP programs are federally funded, but all administration of LIHEAP programs occur at the state and local level.

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