The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible individuals and families pay their energy bills, particularly during the winter and summer months, when heating and cooling costs can become a burden. So, if the sun scorches or your hands freeze outside, the LIHEAP system is ready to support you.
The beneficiaries of the LIHEAP plans in the state of Arkansas will begin to receive their payments on July 11, just as a heat wave begins to arrive that will affect several counties. The thermometer could exceed 100 °F with thermal sensations above 110 °F, so many people are forced to turn on the air conditioner all day. Here’s where these assistance payments come into play, to help you out on this particular moment when you could be physically impacted by the extreme heat.
Your LIHEAP payments to arrive on July 11
The Central Arkansas Development Council announced that the program opens on July 10, and will deliver LIHEAP resources to these counties: Calhoun, Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Lonoke, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Ouachita, Pike, Pulaski, Saline, Sevier, and Union.
The LIHEAP Eligibility in the state of Arkansas is based on both 60% of State Median Income and 150% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for 2023. According to the official data, the FPL is as follows, according to the household size:
- For individuals: $14,580
- For a family of 2: $19,720
- For a family of 3: $24,860
- For a family of 4: $30,000
- For a family of 5: $35,140
- For a family of 6: $40,280
- For a family of 7: $45,420
- For a family of 8: $50,560
- For a family of 9+: Add $5,140 for each extra person
So, for example, for a family of 2 people, the 150% of the FPL’s median income, is $29,580. Qualified beneficiaries will get from $48 to $475 for house cooling needs during the extreme weather.
What type of bills does LIHEAP cover?
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal program that helps low-income households with their home energy costs. LIHEAP primarily focuses on assisting with heating and cooling bills, as well as providing emergency services during energy crises
- LIHEAP can help low-income households pay for their heating or cooling bills. It provides financial assistance to reduce the costs associated with home energy bills.
- The program may also help with emergency services in cases of energy crises, such as utility shutoffs.
- LIHEAP offers low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, that make homes more energy efficient and lower utility bills.
- In some cases, LIHEAP funds can be used to pay for water bills if water is used for air conditioning, such as in an evaporative cooler.
- However, LIHEAP funds generally cannot be used to pay water and sewer bills, except in specific circumstances.
- LIHEAP is not designed to pay for all of a household’s energy costs for the year, season, or month. It provides assistance based on income, energy costs or needs, family size, and other factors.
- The amount of assistance LIHEAP provides varies depending on factors such as income, energy costs, and location.
- LIHEAP grantees can use a portion of their funds for low-cost energy-related repairs, such as fixing or replacing broken or inefficient furnaces or air conditioners.
- LIHEAP is designed differently in every state, so the specific services and eligibility criteria may vary. It is important to contact your state’s LIHEAP office to determine eligibility and apply for assistance.
What does the LIHEAP program can do for you and your household
Applying for LIHEAP involves a straightforward process. Eligible individuals can submit an application either online, by mail, or in person at designated community-based organizations or government offices. Along with the application, certain documents will be requested to be provided, such as proof of income, identification, and recent utility bills. It is essential to pay attention to application deadlines and submission methods to ensure timely processing.
This assistance can come in the form of direct payments to utility companies or energy suppliers on behalf of the eligible households. Additionally, LIHEAP provides crisis intervention services for households facing immediate energy-related emergencies. Weatherization programs are also available to help improve energy efficiency and reduce long-term energy costs.
The LIHEAP requirements checklist to examine before applying
The LIHEAP program considers the total household income, and the threshold varies depending on the state and the number of people living in the dwelling, as established above. Citizenship or legal residential status is also considered, because the program is designed for those with U.S. citizenship and for people who have any legal residency status. Among the necessary documents, the authorities may ask you to prove your need with income statements, copies of bills and services that are increasing, and identification documents of the members of the household.
This is an example of an applicant family: A household of 3 people, with an annual income (before taxes) of $24,860, that does not receive SNAP, WIC, TANF, unemployment benefits, Medicaid, Medicare, Federal Pell Grant, or other. This family also does not receive any Social Security or Railroad Retirement or disability benefits; also does not receive Veterans’ related payments, or any other federal government-run help. This family does not apply for the LIHEAP because the system understands that they are not in need.
But the same family, with the same annual income, that receive SNAP benefits, a Social Security parent’s benefits, will actually qualify to request the LIHEAP assistance.