Even though it is a federal program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program’s (LIHEAP) funds are distributed by the individual states, so the application process is handled differently in each state, depending on how the state system is set up. Some states only do paper applications at the county level, while others have a statewide online application available.
National contact information
There is a national toll-free number you can call to find where to start the application process for your state.
The National Energy Assistance Referral line is available at 866-674-6327. Representatives can be reached Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mountain Time.
You can also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Many frequently asked questions about the LIHEAP program can also be answered at the HHS frequently asked questions webpage, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/consumer-frquently-asked-questions .
Example 1 -Pennsylvania
Here are samples of how to apply for benefits. If you live in the state of Pennsylvania, you can apply online for several social services programs at COMPASS using https://www.compass.state.pa.us/compass.web/CMHOM.aspx.
You can also apply with Partners for Warmth, at www.partnersforwarmth.org, or by calling 866-827-1281. Be sure when you call you have all of your information handy, including:
- names of your family members in your house
- Social Security numbers
- birthdates of the people in your house
- proof of income for all of the adults in your house
- a copy of your most recent energy bill.
You can also call your local utility for information about LIHEAP, also called Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) in some states.
Example 2 -Pacific Northwest
In Oregon, each county handles the applications themselves, so applicants need to contact the county office by using this link http://www.LIHEAP.ncat.org/profiles/Oregon.htm to locate the contact information.
Washington state handles their applications in a similar manner. They use a community action center and local government network for distributing funds.
To apply, first make an appointment in your county with the local agency, and bring all of the necessary documents to the meeting. You can find details about the process here http://www.commerce.wa.gov/Services/individualassistance/Low-Income-Home-Energy-Assistance-Program/How-to-Apply/Pages/default.aspx
Example 3 – California
California handles their applications through energy service providers. A list of them can be found at http://www.csd.ca.gov/Services/FindServicesinYourArea.aspx or by calling 866-675-6623.
Example 4 -New York/New Jersey
New York, on the other hand, accepts both online and mail applications. Check out this link http://otda.ny.gov/programs/HEAP/apply/ for details.
New Jersey has information online about whether you are eligible. Here is the link to the NJ page http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/heausfincomefact.html . If you do qualify, print out this page http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/forms/docs/heaappl.pdf and send it in to your local agency. The list of addresses is available at http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/heausfincomefact.html.
As you can see, the application process varies greatly from state to state, so where you apply changes depending on where you live.
Be sure to check your state government website for contact information, or you can call the national number listed at the top