The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides assistance with energy costs for low income households. Generally, eligible individuals receive help paying for heating and cooling costs. LIHEAP is a federally funded program administered by the states, so specific benefits are state specific.
The main objective of the LIHEAP program is to make home energy costs more affordable for two categories of low income households with the greatest energy needs: vulnerable households that face health risks without proper heating and cooling, such as those with very young children, individuals with disabilities, or homes will frail older residents, and households with the lowest incomes and the greatest energy needs. The rationale for this is that such households could face safety hazards trying to heat or cool their home in the event they are unable to pay their bills.
Individuals seeking to apply for LIHEAP must contact the state LIHEAP office where they live. Nearly 20 states offer online applications, while others may require paperwork to be mailed or delivered. Some states offer assistance in weatherizing homes in addition to help with heating and cooling costs. Individuals already enrolled in benefits programs such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Social Security may be automatically eligible for LIHEAP.