The scorching heat of summer can be unbearable, especially for low-income residents struggling to make ends meet. However, relief is on the horizon. As soon as July, 10, select residents in Arkansas can expect assistance payments for cooling costs from the Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
This program aims to alleviate the burden of high energy bills and ensure that vulnerable households can stay comfortable during the hottest months of the year. Counties in Arkansas that will begin sending the LIHEAP benefits on July 10. Those counties include: Calhoun, Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Lonoke, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Ouachita, Pike, Pulaski, Saline, Sevier, and Union.
You’ll soon get your SNAP benefits if live in these Arkansas counties
The Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded initiative specifically designed to assist low-income households in meeting their energy needs, specially during the hot months. It offers different forms of aid, including financial assistance for heating and cooling costs. LIHEAP is administered by the Central Arkansas Development Council and operates in close collaboration with local authorities to ensure efficient distribution of benefits.
To be eligible for cooling assistance payments, residents must meet certain criteria. These criteria typically consider factors such as income level, household size, and vulnerability. The program is specifically designed to support individuals and families who would otherwise struggle to afford adequate cooling during the summer months.
How to apply for LIHEAP benefits in Arkansas
The application process for LIHEAP benefits in Arkansas is the same as in any other of the 50 states in which it is active. The application will ask applicants for information about household income, household size and other relevant details that impact on whether a person qualifies or not.
Also, there is a maximum monthly countable income (MCI) that every household must meet. In Arkansas, this is the eligibility chart, according to the household’s size:
- 1 person: $1,936.00
- 2 people: $2,531.00
- 3 people: $3,127.00
- 4 people: $3,723.00
- 5 people: $4,318.00
- 6 people: $4,914.00
- 7 people: $5,239.00
- 8 people: $5,829.00
- 9 people: $6,419.00
- 10 people: $7,009.00
- 11 people: $7,599.00
- 12 people: $8,189.00
- 13 people: $8,779.00
- 14 people: $9,369.00
- 15 people: $9,959.00
- 16 people: $10,549.00
- 17 people: $11,139.00
- 18 people: $11,729.00
- 19 people: $12,319.00
- 20 people: $12,909.00
- Add $590 for each additional household member
The minimum LIHEAP payment you could get in Arkansas is $48, while the maximum is $475. Applications for cooling assistance under LIHEAP in the state are set to close on Sept. 30. The Central Arkansas Development Council is responsible for efficiently distributing the cooling assistance benefits to approved applicants.
What to bring for your LIHEAP application
To ensure your application is complete and processed smoothly, you must provide the following documents:
Proof of Income: For all household members aged 18 or older, please include proof of income for the previous month. This includes check stubs received during that period. In case you don’t have check stubs, don’t worry! Your employer can help you complete an earning statement. For any individuals aged 18 or over who do not work, kindly provide information about their last employment, including when and where they last worked, along with an unemployment printout.
Proof of Benefits: If you receive housing benefits, TEA, VA, or SSI, please provide the necessary documentation as proof. This could impact in how much in LIHEAP benefits you could request and get approved.
Proof of Unemployment: Even if you are not receiving unemployment benefits, you should provide proof of unemployment for all household members aged 18 or older who are currently not working. If you have lost your job within the last 60 days prior to your application, please include an unemployment printout, along with verifiable proof from your former employer stating your last date of employment and any income received in the previous month.
Proof of Other Income Sources: If you receive social security, retirement benefits, pensions, workman’s compensation, or disability benefits, please provide a copy of your current award letter for the current year. Kindly note that bank statements cannot be accepted as a form of income verification.
If You Have No Income: If you currently have no income, the program requires you to proof of how your bills are being paid. If someone has assisted you financially, please ask them to complete a verifiable valid contribution statement for the previous month. Additionally, you will need to complete a zero form, provide a contribution statement, collateral statement, and printouts from food stamps, housing, child support, and an unemployment printout for all individuals aged 18 and above.