Like many other government financial assistance programs, when you want to apply for LIHEAP, you’ll apply to your state agency that runs the specific program rather than the federal government. The federal government disperses LIHEAP funds to every state, U.S. territory, and tribe that manage their LIHEAP program through an agency or office that handles economic security, housing assistance, community affairs, public health, or other related needs.
You can contact your local agency for more information on specific requirements, the application process, the kinds of LIHEAP assistance you can get, and more.
In generally, you can follow these steps to learn how you could check to see if you may qualify for LIHEAP assistance and apply for your state, territory or tribe’s LIHEAP program:
- Review your state’s program requirements.
You can find your state, territory or tribal LIHEAP agency by visiting the LIHEAP Map State and Territory Contact Listing on the Office of the Administration for Children & Families website. The income, household, and other program requirements are usually listed on this website, but you may be able to contact them via email, phone call, or in person to determine if you qualify to participate in LIHEAP.
- Fill out the LIHEAP application.
States, territories and tribes require you to complete a LIHEAP application. You usually need to provide information about your household composition (such as the number of individuals as well as those individuals’ ages), your annual household income, the type of residence you live in, which utility company supplies your energy, how you pay your energy bills, and your participation in other federal or state assistance programs, like TANF or SNAP.
You will also need to indicate the type of LIHEAP assistance you need, such as help paying energy bills or weatherization improvements to your residence.
- Submit your application.
Some LIHEAP agencies accept a LIHEAP application online. When you apply for energy assistance online, you can usually fill out and submit it through an online portal on the agency’s website. Other states only accept paper applications that must be submitted in person, by mail, or via fax. Check with your state’s LIHEAP agency to understand their application process.
- Wait for assistance.
If your LIHEAP application is approved, you’ll likely receive a notice that your utility company has been provided a sum that covers a portion of your costs. You may receive this notice from your LIHEAP agency as well as your utility company. If you applied for weatherization and repair assistance, you will typically need to work with a LIHEAP agent to coordinate where that money should go, which contractor will complete the repairs, and other steps of this process.
- Go through the appeals process, if necessary.
If you’re denied LIHEAP funding that you believe you qualify for, you can file an appeal with your state’s agency. This appeal allows you to be reconsidered through an appeals process, which varies from state to state. When you receive a denial, the letter usually includes instructions on how to submit an appeal and how the appeals process works. If you do not get a letter with appeal instructions, you can reach out to the state’s LIHEAP management agency to begin the process.
If you complete the appeals process or have another complaint regarding your LIHEAP application or experience, you should first reach out to the LIHEAP office to resolve your issue. If you want to file a formal complaint after doing so, you can contact the U.S. Office of Administration for Children & Families.