While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the LIHEAP program and compiled a guide and the following answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
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The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides assistance for energy costs to low-income households. LIHEAP is a federal program that is administered by individual states, territories, and tribes. For the U.S. Tribal Nations, LIHEAP is administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Learn more about LIHEAP by reviewing the federal program fact sheet here.
For more information about LIHEAP in Tribal Nations, click here.
The Office of Community Services within the DHHS oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for heating expenses to qualified households. Financial assistance can include payment for:
For more information about LIHEAP’s heating assistance initiative within Tribal Nations, see the Tribal Nations LIHEAP Manual here.
The Tribal Nations LIHEAP program does not provide financial compensation for cooling expenses. However, it does assist with cooling emergencies if applicants qualify for Crisis Assistance.
LIHEAP Crisis Assistance, like standard LIHEAP benefits, is a cash grant provided to the utility companies of eligible individuals in certain situations.
If your household meets all the eligibility requirements above and has an energy-related crisis, you may qualify for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance.
The state of Tribal Nations defines “crisis situation” as one where a household:
A “life-threatening crisis situation” also qualifies a household for Crisis Assistance. This occurs when:
For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment. To find out the maximum payment amount for your tribe, click here.
To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Office of Community Services will consider:
Also, whether you are eligible for regular LIHEAP payments or Crisis Assistance payments will influence your maximum benefit amount.
To check the benefit amount available for your tribe or territory, click here.
To qualify for LIHEAP in Tribal Nations, you must meet the following requirements:
The Office of Community Services prioritizes households with elderly, disabled or young members. Elderly is considered 60 years or older, and young is considered five years old or younger.
Learn more about the LIHEAP financial eligibility requirements in Tribal Nations here.
If you or a member of your family participates in the benefit programs below, then you may automatically be eligible for LIHEAP based on your income:
Eligible households can apply for LIHEAP assistance during different parts of the year depending on their tribe. LIHEAP applications cannot be submitted year-round for all Tribal Nations. Click here to see when you can apply for LIHEAP depending on your tribe or location.
To apply for LIHEAP in Tribal Nations, complete the following three steps:
Find the nearest LIHEAP office for your tribe and contact information for tribes here.
Contact your local LIHEAP office and ask how they would prefer you submit your application. Find all available contact information here.
Note that applications for Crisis Assistance, for households that meet the state definition of a crisis, can be submitted year-round.
If you have questions about the application process or require assistance, contact the nearest LIHEAP office for your tribe. Find your nearest coordinator here.
When applying for Tribal Nations LIHEAP benefits, you will need to provide:
The state will need the following documents and information to confirm your eligibility for LIHEAP benefits:
Learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process by contacting your local LIHEAP office here.
You can call the LIHEAP office where you applied directly to check your application status.
Click here to find your local office and contact information.
Your LIHEAP office will notify you within 30 days of receiving your application if you are approved to receive benefits. All LIHEAP payments are made to the heating or energy provider directly. Benefit payments will not be sent to you.
If you do not agree with the LIHEAP benefit decision given to you, you can file an appeal with the Departmental of Appeals Board. In most cases, you have a set time limit to file an appeal after receiving your determination letter.
To file an appeal, contact your local LIHEAP office. You will need to speak with a
representative and tell them why you are appealing your determination. You will also need to
bring your benefit determination letter and evidence that supports your appeal. Find LIHEAP office contact information here.
You may need to submit a request in writing with a state form or a letter that includes the
You must also enclose a copy of your determination letter when filing an appeal. For more information on the appeal process, contact your local LIHEAP office. Find LIHEAP office contact information here.
If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in Tribal Nations or require further assistance, contact your local LIHEAP office. Find your nearest office and contact information here.
You can also contact the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) Project at1(866) 674-6327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help finding where and how to apply for LIHEAP in your area.
Or, call the Department of Health and Welfare’s LIHEAP Clearinghouse phone line at (406) 494-8662 for more information.
While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and compiled a guide that we believe is simple to use and easy to understand. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing detailed information on the process.
Our free LIHEAP Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply for LIHEAP, program eligibility and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.