LIHEAP


LIHEAP

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a United States federal social services (or welfare) program first established in 1981 and funded annually through Congressional appropriations.

Funding is distributed to each of the fifty states, U.S. territories and tribal governments through the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Administration of the program is left up to state, territorial or tribal governments. Congress also provides the U.S. President with limited contingency funds each year, which are reserved for emergency situations and released at the President's discretion.

State legislatures often provide additional appropriations each year to supplement federal LIHEAP funds.

LIHEAP offers one-time financial assistance to qualifying low-income households who require support in paying their home heating or cooling bills. Applicants must have an income less than 150% of federal poverty level or 60% of state median poverty level to be eligible, however some states have expanded their programs to include more households (for example, in Massachusetts, applicants must be within 200% of the federal poverty level).

In most states, the program is run on a first come-first served basis. This typically results in a rush to apply and receive assistance, because once the funding pool is empty most energy assistance offices close their doors. In some states, the legislature or governor may make a politically popular gesture of extending eligibility to additional individuals through an emergency bill or executive order, even though this may result in funds being claimed earlier in the winter season.

Many state LIHEAP agencies also offer weatherization support, in which contractors are sent to residences to make physical changes to help retain heat or install more fuel-efficient furnaces. Occasionally, acceptance of the weatherization process is mandatory with approval for LIHEAP assistance.

External links

* [http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/liheap/ Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services, LIHEAP Program]
* [http://www.liheap.org Campaign for Home Energy Assistance]
* [http://www.liheap.ncat.org/ LIHEAP National Clearinghouse]

:"State LIHEAP Programs"
* [http://www.csd.ca.gov/LIHEAP.html LIHEAP California]
* [http://www.liheapillinois.com/ LIHEAP Illinois]
* [http://www.mainehousing.org/liheap.html LIHEAP Maine]
* [http://www.otda.state.ny.us/otda/heap/default.htm LHEAP NY state]


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