LIHEAP Assistance to Qualified Low-Income Households

By: Emma M., Assistancefinder
Published Jan 6, 2020 8:07:23 AM

There is help for paying for utility bills. Your utility bill could be partially paid for or lowered. Gas and electric bills can be paid with grants if you are low-income or disabled. There are federal programs and other programs that will help you pay these bills. The first step is to call your utility company and explain your circumstances and ask for help. Often, they will work with you to pay your utility bills. If you need help right away, look for options closer to home and leave the government programs for times when you can wait longer because it can be a wait for approval. There are options to get money from the state, the feral government, the utility company and through nonprofits. Contact them today to get the help that you need.

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Federal Programs

The federal government helps with gas and electric bills. You can get money through the federal government to pay these bills. If you are in need of assistance to keep your heat or electricity on, apply for federal assistance. Through the federal government, a program is offered call the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program through the Department of Human Services. This program, sometimes referred to as HEAP, awards money to people who need help paying for their electric bills. The amount awarded can vary by need and household size. While HEAP grants are handed out by the state, they are federal programs. To apply, contact your utility company or the Department of Health and Human Services. Look to the federal government today to help pay your bills.

State Programs

The states help pay for gas and electric bills. You can get money through the state to pay for your bills, in addition to the federal government. Lots of states, such as Ohio and New Jersey, offer programs by the state to either help pay or even lower your utility bill. Each state has a different program. Many are similar to the one run by the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs. This state has a program called the Universal Service Fund and it is run like the federal HEAP program. This means it will help pay your bills based off of income. Other states, such as Ohio have programs such as the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s plan called the Percentage of Income Payment Plan. This, along with several different programs for winter and heating crisis, helps to pay the bills by lowering the payment. Under this program, no more than 15 percent of a household income will be spent on utilities such as gas and electric. Many states across the country have similar programs. Look to the state today to help pay your bills.

Energy Company Programs

The energy company has options to pay your bills. Each company has at least one way to help customers pay part or some of the utility bill. As a note of caution, read the fine print when you use this venue of help because there could be limits on it. For example, the utility company could limit how many times you use its assistance. Many offer help during the winter months to pay for heating. In addition, many utility companies offer payment plans for past due amounts. These are known as payment plans. Consult with your utility company today to discover what the payment options are.

Nonprofit Programs

Nonprofit companies also have options for paying your bills. This is a good option if you need money right away. Nonprofits such as the United Way, Salvation Army and American Red Cross provide money assistance for paying utility bills. Each organization and state will have different programs. If you need help locating which nonprofits will help, contact the library or the Department of Health and Human resources to get a list of places you can go. Nonprofits can be a great option when needing money for utility bills.

There are several options for paying for utilities. There are programs through the state, the federal government, the utility company and through nonprofits to pay your bills. From cash assistance to actually lowering the bill, you can find the help you need. Even payment options are available. Look into your options today to get the help that you need.

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