Home heating bills adding up? LIHEAP can help
Rep. Joanna E. McClinton November 1, 2022 | 2:44 PM
The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and the costs to keep your home warm this winter are projected to get higher.
If you have problems paying your home heating bill this winter, LIHEAP may be able to help. LIHEAP – or the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program – has been helping families pay their home heating costs for over 40 years. It is a federally funded program that offers payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs to qualifying households.
LIHEAP can help families in the form of a cash grant that is paid directly to the utility company or fuel provider. If a household is in danger of being without heat it may also qualify for a one-time crisis grant. These crisis grants, which range from $500 to $1,500, are an additional benefit that may be used for issues like a broken furnace or lack of fuel, and do not need to be repaid.
To qualify a family must meet household and income requirements. The income limit varies according to household size, but a family of four can earn up to $41,625. You don’t need to be on public assistance or have an unpaid heating bill, and the program is open to homeowners and renters. For a complete list of requirements, including income and household size information, you can visit the Department of Human Services website, or call one of my offices.
The 2022-23 LIHEAP application season opens Nov. 1 and runs through April 28.
Pre-season applications were mailed to previous LIHEAP recipients who will be able to submit the application online via COMPASS or with a pre-season paper application.
If you’ve used LIHEAP before, you know that it can be a lifesaver in keeping your home warm over the winter months, but be aware of potential LIHEAP scams. The Department of Human Services warned that people had been going door-to-door asking to see existing LIHEAP recipients’ energy bills to confirm the household was receiving the appropriate amount of help. DHS confirmed that no one from the agency or from the utility company would solicit information from LIHEAP recipients by visiting their homes.
If you have received unsolicited visits by people asking about your LIHEAP benefits, your personal information or any other suspicious activity related to LIHEAP, you should report them to the DHS fraud tipline at 1-844-DHS-TIPS?(1-844-347-8477).
If you have questions about LIHEAP or any other state program, my office can help. Just stop by between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at 52 S. 60th St. or call 215-748-6712 or toll free at (833) 787-5109.