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What is the Massachusetts Fuel Assistance Program?

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Quick Answer

The Massachusetts Fuel Assistance program, which is officially known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program, is a state government program that provides financial help to eligible households to pay a portion of their heating bills. The LIHEAP, which is part of Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development department's housing energy programs, requires eligible families to send in an application. Aid from the LIHEAP is generally given either as fixed benefits or through discounts on certain utilities.

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Full Answer

The LIHEAP is open to households that either own or rent a property where any rent paid includes the cost of heat. Applicants apply for the program through a local agency office, and eligibility is determined by the annual income of every family member over the age of 18 as well as the household's size. To be eligible for LIHEAP, the applying family's total income must not exceed 60 percent of Massachusetts's estimated median income level.

The LIHEAP provides a fixed financial benefit amount for certain types of primary heating sources, such as propane, wood, oil, electricity and natural gas. Additionally, the program also provides any eligible households with an immediate discount on certain bill types, including telephone bills and gas bills for utilities owned by investors.

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