Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Heating season has arrived and with it the need to spread the word about an important issue – home heating assistance for low income families. Throughout my work as a legislator I have advocated for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program – known as LIHEAP, because in New England heating is a basic human need.
Yesterday, I helped MASSCAP kick-off their annual drive to raise awareness of heating assistance at Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus with Representative Donald H. Wong. They are a congressionally created association of 23 Community Action Agencies mandated and dedicated to fighting poverty. They serve more than 600,000 in our state each year.
State Fire Marshall Michael Newbury also reminded the attendees that heating help is also a safety program- without it people resort to unsafe measures like heating with a stove. He said don't buy a heater second hand and be sure to have your heating system cleaned annually.
Homeowners and renters, including households whose cost of heat is included in the rent, can apply in for help.
Eligibility is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age or older. Household income cannot exceed 60% of estimated State Median Income
This program provides assistance for the cost of the primary source of heat such as -
• Natural gas
If eligible, discounts are automatically given on:
• electric bills for investor-owned electric utilities
• gas bills for investor-owned gas utilities
• telephone bills
Payments for actual usage or fuel delivery are made directly to the heating vendor for primary energy needs from November 1st to April 30th except when the cost of heating is included in the rent.
• There are a variety of factors that impact the eligibility of a household.
• Eligibility is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age or older.
• Household income cannot exceed 60% of estimated State Median Income
• FY2019 LIHEAP Income Eligibility and Benefits Level Chart
• Please contact the local fuel assistance agency for detailed information on criteria used for eligibility.
• Housing subsidies will also determine the specific benefit level.