YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now accepting applications for the upcoming heating season. The federal program provides low-income households with money to help pay their winter heating bills and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance.
To qualify, you have pay for home heating, either directly or included in the rent, and have a gross income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Those 60 or older, or who are disabled, can receive and return applications by mail. Other households may apply by mail at the discretion of the local agency. Assistance toward heating costs depends on income, household size, fuel type, and heating region.
Residents “shouldn’t have to make a choice over whether to pay their heating bill or some other necessity,” Gov. Christie said. “If heating is a concern this winter, families should take advantage of this invaluable program and submit their applications as soon as possible.”
“If you can’t afford to pay your home energy bill, your home may not be safe, and you may be at risk of serious illness or injury,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa. “[W]e are encouraging those in need to apply early.”
To do so, contact the authorized local community action agency or community-based organization in your area.
FIND THE LIST HERE: LIHEAP Local Agencies
OR CALL: 1-800-510-3102
The application period runs through April 30, 2012.
The LIHEAP application can also be used to apply for the Universal Service Fund Program (USF), which is a state-funded initiative administered by the DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources to help make natural gas and electric heating bills more affordable for low-income households. To be eligible for that program, you must have a household gross income at or below 175% of the federal poverty level, and pay more than 3% annual income for electric or natural gas.
If your household has electric heat, you must spend more than 6% of its annual income on electricity to be eligible.
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