Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP)
This program helps low-income families with home heating and cooling costs. LIHEAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and has been established to help qualifying low-income homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs.
LIHEAP is not designed to pay a household’s total energy costs, but to provide supplemental assistance. Ordinarily, applications for LIHEAP are accepted by appointment only due to the demand for assistance.
Regular Home Energy Assistance:
For Regular assistance, households can apply for assistance once in a 12 month period on a current utility bill. The benefit range is $150 - $300 per household depending on family size and income.
Crisis Assistance (Shut-offs, Past Due and Deposits Only):
A home energy crisis is defined as a shut-off or delinquent notice, wherein utility service will be terminated if a utility bill remains unpaid. A home energy crisis is also defined as the requirement of a household to provide a deposit to a utility company for utility service to begin. Verifications will be shut-off notices, delinquent payment notices, or deposit notices from the utility company. This addresses not only electrical service and natural gas (used for heating), but also other energy sources used for space heating such as propane, fuel oil, or wood. Crisis assistance households can apply for assistance once in a 12 month period.
Applications for assistance will be accepted by appointment only due to the demand for assistance. Applicants are advised to call when they receive their bills (in the case of regular assistance), or the day after their due date (in the case of crisis assistance). Appointments will continue until the funds are exhausted. All applicants will be pre-screened for greatest needs, eligibility, total gross household income, and amount of assistance.
Clients with the greatest need are defined as follows:
- C - Children under the age of 5 years
- D - Disabled persons of any age (Must provide documentation)
- E - Elderly persons over the age of 60
Applications are accepted year round, based on eligibility and availability of funds.
Scheduling an Appointment:
The LIHEAP automated telephone system helps clients schedule a home energy assistance appointment and hear more information regarding the program and/or required documentation needed for an appointment. Appointments are scheduled up to two weeks in advance. When those are full, new appointments will open up daily or in the event of cancelation.
The toll-free service is available 24/7. Callers who require special assistance can connect directly to a live operator by following the phone menu prompts, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The number is (855) 806-9648.