Your Free Guide to the LIHEAP Application Process

Your Free Guide to the LIHEAP Application Process

Introduction to LIHEAP

If you’re looking for a way to lighten the load on your monthly energy bills, you’re in for a treat. We’re diving headfirst into the world of LIHEAP – the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. 

This guide will walk you through things you should know about applying for this valuable assistance, from why you should consider it to what to do if you’re denied. Let’s get started on your journey to learning about more affordable energy bills and peace of mind!

What is LIHEAP?

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly referred to as LIHEAP, offers a supportive hand to qualifying individuals and families with tighter budgets, assisting them with their utility bills. Depending on where you’re located – whether in a state, U.S. territory, or within a Native American tribe – this program might have a unique name tailored to the region. The offerings can also differ slightly, taking into account the local climate, prevalent fuel sources, and the style of homes in the area.

LIHEAP isn’t just about emergency relief; it’s also there for those times when you just need a little extra help. Moreover, if you’re interested in boosting your home’s energy efficiency, you might want to look into the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP. Think of it as LIHEAP’s close relative, dedicated to enhancing energy efficiency in homes. It’s a comprehensive approach to energy conservation and affordability.

Reasons to Apply for LIHEAP

First, let’s start with why you may consider applying for LIHEAP in the first place. The program helps people who are struggling to keep up with their energy bills.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused financial distress to millions of Americans across the country. To protect residents against utility and gas shut-offs during the national emergency, additional legislation was put in place to prevent these shut-offs from happening. Also known as a “utility moratorium,” this legislation ensured that residents who were falling behind on payments or who were at risk of losing power stayed connected.

However, that moratorium has since ended, leaving many individuals and families struggling to find assistance. In fact, according to a 2023 report by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Energy and Policy Institute and BailoutWatch, electricity shut-offs increased almost 30% from 2021 to 2022, and gas cutoffs increased by 76%.

The LIHEAP program targets the country’s most vulnerable populations to provide much-needed financial help to prevent utility shut-offs.

 Here are some reasons you may consider applying:

  • Financial Relief: In an era where energy costs seem ever-escalating, LIHEAP stands as a beacon of financial empowerment, offering vital assistance to qualifying individuals and families, ensuring their home stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Bid adieu to the anxiety of energy-related expenses and say hello to a brighter, cost-efficient future.
  • Peace of Mind: If anxiety over escalating utility bills keeps you up at night, rest assured – LIHEAP is your guardian of tranquility. It forms a safety net beneath you, preventing the plunge into financial turmoil and shielding you from energy-related distress.
  • Health and Well-being: Maintaining a comfortable living environment is essential for your health. LIHEAP can help you create or maintain a safe, cozy space without sacrificing your well-being.

Steps to Apply for LIHEAP

Now, let’s break down the nitty-gritty of the application process into easy-to-follow steps:

Gather Necessary Documents

Before you start filling out any forms, gather your documents. You’ll typically need:

  • Proof of Identity: A driver’s license, state ID, or passport.
  • Proof of Income: Recent pay stubs, unemployment benefits, Social Security benefits, or tax returns.
  • Utility Bills: Copies of your recent energy bills, clearly showing your account information and usage.
  • Proof of Residence: Rental agreement, lease, or mortgage statement.
  • Other Documentation: Some states may require additional documents, so check with your local LIHEAP office to ensure you have everything you need.

Locate Your Local LIHEAP Office

Each state and territory has their own LIHEAP office that oversees the program locally. To apply, you can contact your state’s office or visit their website.

The table below has contact information for LIHEAP offices in each state and territory:

State/TerritoryProgram NamePhone NumberOffice Directory

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)800-392-8098 

Heating Assistance Program (HAP)800-478-7778

American Samoa
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)684-699-1101 or 1102 

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)866-494-1981

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)501-682-0842 

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)866-675-6623

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)866-432-8435
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)670-287-1475

Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)800-842-1132


Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP)215-609-1000

District of Columbia
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)202-535-2600


Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
GeorgiaEnergy Assistance Program (EAP)1-877-423-4746
GuamWeatherization Assistance Program671-646-4361

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)1-808-586-5740

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)877-456-1233

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)833-711-0374 

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (EAP)800-872-0371 
2-1-1 for immediate / emergency assistance 

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)515-281-3861 


Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)888-432-0043

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)800-456-3452


Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)800-452-4668

Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) for heating assistance
Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) for current electric bills
Arrearage Retirement  Assistance for large, past due electric and gas bills  

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)800-632-8175

Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)855-275-6424


Energy Assistance Program (EAP)

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)800-421-0762

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)855-373-4636 


Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)402-471-3121 (DHHS)
800-383-4278 (applications)

Energy Assistance Program (EAP)800-992-0900 (EXT. 4420]

New Hampshire

Fuel Assistance Program

New Jersey
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)800-510-3102

New Mexico
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)800-283-4465 
New YorkHome Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)800-342-3009

North Carolina
Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)866-719-0141

North Dakota
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)800-823-2417 

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)800-282-0880

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)


Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)



Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Puerto Rico

Programa Subsidio de Energía


Rhode Island
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)401-462-6419

South Carolina
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)803-734-0662 

South Dakota
Low Income Energy Assistance 605-773-3766

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)615-815-2042

Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)877-399-8939

U.S. VIrgin Islands

Energy Assistance Program (EAP)
St. Thomas:340-774-0930
St. Croix: 340-718-2980
St. John: 340-776-6334

Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program877-488-3233
888-346-3162 (Spanish)

Fuel Assistance800-775-0516 

Energy Assistance (EA)800-230-6977

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)360-725-2857

West Virginia
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)800-642-8589

Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP)866-432-8947

Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)800-246-4221

Explore Online Options

Some states offer the convenience of online applications. If available, visit the official LIHEAP website for your state and follow their instructions to fill out the online form. This could save you a trip to the office.

Obtain the Application Form

If applying in person, head to your local LIHEAP office to pick up a physical application form. If you’re applying online, download a copy from the official website. Ensure you have a printer or access to one if you’re planning to fill out a paper form.

Complete the Application Form

Whether you’re using a physical or online form, take your time to complete it accurately. Double-check your information to avoid errors. If you have any questions about specific sections, don’t hesitate to contact the LIHEAP office for clarification.

Provide Accurate Information

When filling out the application, be truthful about your financial situation. Accuracy matters, as providing false information could lead to delays or disqualification from the program.

Submit Your Application

If applying in person, return your completed application form along with the required documents to the LIHEAP office. If applying online, follow the instructions on the website to submit your form and upload any necessary documents.

Confirm Receipt

After submitting your application, request a confirmation of receipt. This can be a simple email or a stamped acknowledgment if you’re applying in person. It’s your peace-of-mind proof that your application is being processed.

Keep Copies of Everything

Throughout the application process, make copies of your application form, documents, and any communication with the LIHEAP office. This ensures you have a paper trail in case you need to refer back to anything.

By following these  steps, you can be well-prepared to tackle the LIHEAP application process with confidence. Remember, this program exists to help you achieve energy security and financial relief – so make the most of it!

What to Do After Applying

You’ve submitted your application – great job! But what’s next? Let’s find out:

Stay Informed About Processing Times:

Processing times can vary based on factors like application volume and location. Keep in touch with the LIHEAP office or check their website for estimated processing times. While waiting, continue to manage your utility bills as usual to avoid any disruptions.

Be Patient and Follow Up:

Processing applications takes time. If you don’t hear back within the estimated processing period, don’t panic. Reach out to the LIHEAP office to inquire about your application status. Being patient and proactive is key.

Approval or Denial Notification:

You’ll eventually receive a notification regarding the status of your application. If approved, the notification will include details about the amount of assistance you’ll receive and how it will be applied to your energy bills.

How to Appeal a Denial

Don’t lose hope if your application is denied. You have the right to appeal. Here’s what to do:

  • Understand the Reason: Review the denial letter to understand the reason behind it. You should receive one from your state or territory’s LIHEAP office explaining why your application was denied.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect any missing or additional documents that could support your case.
  • Submit an Appeal: Write a clear and concise appeal letter, including the reasons you believe the decision should be overturned and any new evidence. Depending on your state, the denial letter may have specific instructions for this appeal letter.
  • Follow Up: Stay in touch with the LIHEAP office regarding the status of your appeal. Be persistent but polite.

Additional Tips:

  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the program’s updates and changes to ensure you’re getting the most accurate information.
  • Spread the Word: If you know someone who might benefit from LIHEAP, share this guide with them. Knowledge is power!
  • Budget Wisely: While LIHEAP can provide significant relief, it’s wise to practice energy-saving habits to further reduce your bills.

And there you have it, a guide to navigating the LIHEAP application process. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength. If you qualify, LIHEAP can lend a hand when you need it most. So go ahead, take those steps toward financial relief, a comfortable home, and peace of mind. Best of luck on your journey to affordable energy bills!

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