With the economy in the shape it is today, many families now qualify for the home energy heating assistance program provided by the government. Many are facing unemployment, low incomes, SS or SSI, and have no way of increasing their incomes in the near future. The onset of winter in the near future has many people worried about how they will keep their families warm this winter. Their budgets will not stretch far enough to add the extra burden of home heating costs.
The government provides for the home heating assistance program, the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program has certain guidelines and eligibility requirements an applicant has to fall under in order to be approved for heating assistance. These guidelines vary from state to state, and the amount of assistance will depend on the applicant’s information and need. There are many families who might qualify for this and do not even realize the help is there for them.
The heating assistance provides for those whose household income does not exceed either 150 percent of the poverty level or 60 percent of the State median income, whichever is the greater of the two. Anyone can find out more information about the funding, deadlines, forms, contacts, eligibility, and regulations at the Administration for Children and Families website.
If you need assistance and feel that you might qualify for assistance, you can find out more at that website or contact your local DHS office. It is a good idea to find out as soon as possible about this, because many DHS offices just take applications on one or two days. They always give the DHS families first priority. They are limited to a certain amount from the government so when it is gone, there is no more assistance available until the following year.
Another way to help your home heating and cooling costs is by giving your home a makeover. In some cases the homes need new storm windows or siding. Some could use new insulation. Caulking the cracks around the windows and doors will certainly help keep cold air out. This will save a lot in overall heating costs. In some cases, the DHS office can also help financially with this upgrade, so it's definitely worth checking into. It is unhealthy to live in a drafty home. In many cases this can be avoided if you just check into some of the options available to you.