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Stay Warm, Save Money; Learn about Heating Assistance Program LIHEAP

Li Heap Info Graphic.jpg

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides help to people with low, moderate, and fixed incomes to pay their utility bills. LIHEAP benefits target households with low incomes, particularly those that have a high home energy burden (percentage of income that goes to heating and cooling bills) and/or have members who are elderly, disabled, and/or a young child.

The online application continues through April 30, 2024. You can apply online, in-person at the LIHEAP agency in your area, or by mail. Use the LIHEAP portal to find your agency and start your application.  

The AARP Bulletin profiled the LIHEAP program here in Massachusetts - read the article here

The Application Process

First time applicants must participate in an intake appointment, to get started please submit an online application or contact your local agency.

Necessary Documents

As part of the application process, please be prepared to share necessary information, including but not limited to:

  • photo identification for the head of household or primary applicant (e.g., driver’s license)
  • a list of all household members information on your heating bills (e.g., heating company name and account number)
  • information on your housing situation (e.g., an active lease or mortgage)
  • statement proof of income for 30 days prior to application date (e.g., wages, pension)

The government has set aside money to help people with lower incomes pay their heating bills. Many eligible customers don’t take advantage of the option simply because they are not aware of it or think they may not qualify. People who own homes may qualify.

Who Qualifies?

You may qualify and not even know it. Eligibility for home energy assistance is based on several factors, including (but not limited to) household size and gross annual income of all household members 18 years and older. Those households making up to 60% of state median income are eligible, for instance a family of 4 making $87,294 would be eligible for the program. Your local agency can help you determine if you qualify, and eligibility and benefit information is available online here.

Here's a chart from MASSCAP that explains eligibility

LIHEAP Elegibilty Chart.JPG

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Fund
If you don’t qualify for LIHEAP because you make too much money, try the Massachusetts Good Neighbor fund. Now in its 38th year, the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund has provided energy assistance to hundreds-of-thousands of residents in temporary crisis who are struggling to pay their energy bills and do not qualify for federal or state energy funds.

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is available to any Massachusetts resident who, because of temporary financial difficulty, cannot meet a month's energy expense and is not eligible for state or federal energy assistance. Income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state's median income levels

Learn more here.

AARP Massachusetts held a Tele-town hall on LIHEAP back in November. You can listen to the recording below:

AARP Massachusetts Telephone Town Hall on LIHEAP

Your local utility provider may also offer some assistance. Ask about special discount rates for income qualified customers, setting up a payment plan, and enrollment in energy efficiency and weatherization audit programs to help you save money by reducing your energy usage

Home Energy Assistance programs play a critically important role to protect public health and safety by ensuring that all families and individuals have safe access to home heating.

IF you’re looking for additional help, your local council on aging is a good starting point. Councils on Aging in Massachusetts provide a wealth of information to help citizens grow old in their community.  They can point you in the right direction to other programs that could help you save money.  To find your local COA (Council on Aging) click here

Additional Resources:

General Community Action landing page: www.communityactionma.org

Agency lookup: www.masscap.org/agencies/

Heating Help (Fuel Assistance): www.heatinghelpma.org

Others:

Free Tax Prep: www.masscap.org/freetaxprep

About AARP Massachusetts
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.