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Home Page > Consumer Assistance > Consumer Tips > Tip of the Week

Consumer Tip Sunday, October 16, 2005



LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP)

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides grants to local governments and non-profit agencies to assist eligible low-income households in meeting the costs of home heating and cooling. The majority of the funds are used for utility payment assistance.

The program can assist customers in paying their home energy expenses. Three categories of assistance exist:

  • home energy assistance,
  • crisis assistance, and
  • weather related or supply shortage emergency assistance.
Each category has unique requirements.

To be eligible for the program, household income may not exceed 150% of the poverty guidelines and allowable and unallowable sources of income. If the household?s income is greater than this amount, the household may still be eligible because some types of income are not counted. The household must provide proof, such as a utility bill, that they are responsible for all or part of the energy costs for the household.  Please call your local agency to verify that funds are available, what documents will be needed, and when and where they are accepting applications. Typically, applicants will need the following:

  • Copy or original of energy bill.
  • For applicant only - Copy of identification (ID, voter registration card, driver's license.)
  • Copies of proof of income for every member of the household.  Proof can be the following:
    • Letter from employer or consecutive pay stubs showing gross income for at least the last thirty days or an income tax return.
    • Award letter or letter from individual or agency from which income is received.
      • Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs, Pension, Welfare
      • Child Support/Alimony
      • Friends or Relatives
      • Any other income source
    • Proof that you are receiving assistance from:
      • Food Stamps
      • Weatherization Assistance Program
      • Community Services Block Grant Program
    • In the absence of proof of income, program administrators may allow an applicant to sign a self-declaration form on a case-by- case basis. This may be used ONLY when an applicant has no proof.
Source: Florida Department of Community Affairs http://www.floridacommunitydevelopment.org/index.cfm