The primary goal of LIHEAP is to keep families safe and healthy, especially during extreme weather conditions. It achieves this by helping qualified households pay their energy bills, offset heating and cooling costs, and even offers assistance with energy-related home repairs. By doing so, LIHEAP effectively reduces the risk of utility shutoffs and the potential consequences of living in homes without proper climate control.
LIHEAP functions through partnerships between the federal government, state governments, and various community-based organizations. The federal government allocates funding to states based on factors like population, poverty rates, and climate data. Each state then designs and administers its own LIHEAP program, tailoring it to meet the specific needs of its residents.
How to request the LIHEAP benefits in New Mexico
The LIHEAP program in New Mexico is divided into two different branches, the Home Energy Assistance (HEA) and the Weatherization Assistance (WA), which has different purposes. While the HEA offers one-time financial assistance to help eligible households cover their energy bills during times of financial hardship (for example, while the cooling costs skyrocket during the summer’s heatwaves), the WA help the households to implement permanent weatherization measures in qualifying homes. This helps them to reduce long-term energy expenses and turn their homes into energy-efficient ones.
To qualify for LIHEAP assistance in New Mexico, households must meet particular income requirements. These guidelines take into account the household size and the total gross income of all family members. Priority is given to households with elderly members, individuals with disabilities, and families with young children, as they are often the most vulnerable during extreme temperatures like the heatwaves happening right now.
In order to apply for the LIHEAP program in New Mexico, you must have the next documents in hand, to provide them when required:
- Application Form fully completed and submitted to your nearest HSD office or through the YesNM Portal.
- Identity – for one adult living in the residence.
- Non-Citizen Immigrant Status – for all those applying for help, if it’s applicable.
- Disability – only give proof if you are not getting disability income.
- Income – Proof of income for the last 30 days.
- Heating or cooling costs: you must provide proof of this, such as your bills.
What is the Crisis LIHEAP assistance
Crisis LIHEAP is particularly different compared to the regular LIHEAP aid. It’s specially focused on those that are facing a crisis situation, like a notice of termination of the electricity or gas service because the household can’t afford to pay the bills.
- Crisis LIHEAP – HSD can help you faster if you have:
- disconnected utility service;
- disconnect notice; or
- almost out of wood, propane, or other bulk fuels
- Give us a copy of your disconnect notice
If you are qualifying for the regular LIHEAP assistance, you could be noticed whether you qualified or not within the next 45 days after filling the application, while the Crisis LIHEAP has a shorter waiting time, usually less than a week. The majority of people who qualify for LIHEAP may qualify for other services provided by New Mexico’s HSD. Feel free to call the LIHEAP helpline at (800) 283-4465.