Energy assistance program helps low-income Indiana families pay heat bills
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– As Hoosiers continue to deal with below-freezing temperatures, officials are issuing a reminder of the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
The program offers qualifying Hoosiers a one-time payment to use towards their heat and electric bills.
“During these extreme temperatures, it is important that low-to-moderate income Hoosiers have a way to ensure the heat stays on in their homes,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who serves as board chair for Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). “I encourage anyone who is in need of assistance paying their utility bill to call 211 and ask for the energy assistance program local service provider in their county.”
There are 21 community-based organizations under contract with IHCDA which are called Local Service Providers (LSPs). They are available in all 92 counties. They accept applications from individuals seeking heating assistance. Hoosiers can apply in person or through a mail-in. See the full list of providers here.
Those without Internet access are encouraged to call 211 and ask for the EAP service provider in their county.
IHCDA says households may qualify if their income does not exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty level. For this year’s program, the income limit is $36,900 for a family of four. The LSPs can help calculate the countable income towards the limit.
After applying for the program, households may be protected from utility companies turning off services. Indiana’s Moratorium law says from Dec. 1 – March 15, a utility company cannot turn off a residential utility service to any customer who is eligible for and has applied for the program.
The program can also help households dealing with an energy crisis, like a disconnect or a house running out of bulk fuel.
During the 2016-17 winter assistance period that ended on May 13, IHCDA says 101,300 households were served and received an average benefit of $510.