Access to heating and cooling is one of the most important utilities, especially during the winter and summer months. If your household struggles to pay utility bills to keep your home comfortable during extreme temperatures, you may be interested in learning about financial assistance programs available from the government.
Keep reading to learn more about LIHEAP, one of a few energy assistance programs in the U.S. that could help you.
You may qualify for benefits if you meet the LIHEAP income guidelines. Whether you qualify generally depends on how many people are in your household and how much money your household makes per year.
There are national guidelines, which states, territories, and tribes use to manage their own qualification guidelines. Keep in mind that each state, territory and tribe that participates in LIHEAP has their own set of qualification criteria.
While income limits may vary depending on where you live, the federal maximum household income limits are as follows:
- 1-person household: $20,385 per year
- 2-person household: $27,465 per year
- 3-person household: $34,545 per year
- 4-person household: $41,625 per year
- 5-person household: $48,705 per year
- 6-person household: $55,785 per year
- 7-person household: $62,865 per year
- 8-person household: $69,945 per year
Even if your income falls within the thresholds above, it is still possible that you make too much money based on your household size for your state’s program. Be sure to review the income guidelines on your state’s, territory’s, or tribe’s LIHEAP or housing assistance program website.
You can use the Benefits.gov calculator tool to find out whether your household meets the nationally recognized minimum qualifications for LIHEAP:
- Visit Benefits.gov.
- Search for LIHEAP.
- On the LIHEAP page, find the calculator under “Who is eligible for this program?”
This calculator can only tell you whether you meet the basic qualifications as each state-, territory-, or tribe-managed LIHEAP program sets other qualifying factors. That means you still must check with your local LIHEAP office or apply for LIHEAP and wait for a decision.
In general, those who receive other forms of government financial assistance may automatically qualify to receive LIHEAP benefits. This may also apply if one of the members of your household receives financial assistance from the government.
Some assistance programs that may automatically qualify your household for LIHEAP include:
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Subsidized housing, like Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
Note that LIHEAP isn’t limited to people who live in subsidized housing. Homeowners and renters who fall into the income brackets for the LIHEAP program in their area may qualify for this assistance, too.
You may prefer speaking with a LIHEAP adviser before applying to make sure you meet the qualifications. Knowing whether you and your family qualify for LIHEAP can help speed up the application and approval process so you can get the government assistance you need faster.