If you can’t afford to pay your home heating or cooling bill, you may be able to get help from the government or your local social services agency or nonprofit. 

What help is available for my home energy bill?

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to help with:

  • Assistance to pay your heating or cooling bills
  • Emergency services in cases of energy crisis, such as utility shutoffs
  • Low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, that make your home more energy efficient and lower your utility bills.

LIHEAP funds may not be used to pay water and sewer bills.

Am I eligible for LIHEAP?

This chart from Benefits.gov shows the average LIHEAP eligibility requirements. Actual requirements may vary by state, city, or region. Each local LIHEAP office sets its own eligibility requirements.

  • A person or family participating in certain other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF or welfare), or certain needs-tested veterans benefits may be automatically eligible.
  • Being qualified for LIHEAP does not guarantee that you will receive help. Whether or not you receive help depends on how much LIHEAP funding is available for the year.
  • On average, about 20% of households that are qualified for LIHEAP receive benefits. When LIHEAP funds run out for the year, no more benefits can be given until Congress makes more funds available.

How do I apply for LIHEAP?

Each state has different rules about when you can apply, how you apply, and the criteria you have to meet to get help.

  • Contact your local LIHEAP office for application details.
  • Your state’s application may be online. Check the LIHEAP Clearinghouse for a list of state applications available to print out, read, or submit online.

Are there other places I can get help if I don’t qualify for LIHEAP?

If your income is too high to qualify for LIHEAP but you need help paying for your energy bills, your local social services agency or a nonprofit organization may have funds to help. You can also contact your gas, oil, or electric company about budget billing programs or new payment options especially for customers with disabilities who are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

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