Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program 2024

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Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Florida’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides grants to local governments and non-profit agencies to assist eligible low-income Florida households in meeting the costs of home heating and cooling. The majority of the funds are used for utility payment assistance.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can assist customers pay their home energy expenses. The program has three categories of assistance: home energy assistance, crisis assistance, and weather related or supply shortage energy crisis assistance. Each category has unique requirements.

What is this Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Florida’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides grants to local governments and non-profit agencies to assist eligible low-income Florida households in meeting the costs of home heating and cooling. The majority of the funds are used for utility payment assistance.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can assist customers pay their home energy expenses. The program has three categories of assistance: home energy assistance, crisis assistance, and weather related or supply shortage energy crisis assistance. Each category has unique requirements.

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Who is eligible for this program?

To be eligible for this benefit program, you must be a resident of Florida and you must need financial assistance with home energy costs. A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs, such as SNAP, SSI, TANF, automatically meets the eligibility requirement.

In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts: Select Household Size Maximum Household Income per year View Table

*For households with more than eight people, add $7,710 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.

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Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Income Limit

In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:

Household SizeMaximum Income Level (Per Year)
1$21,870
2$29,580
3$37,290
4$45,000
5$52,710
6$60,420
7$68,130
8$75,840

For households with more than eight people, add $7,710 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.

Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that helps income-qualified families with home heating and cooling costs. The Florida Department of Commerce (Florida Commerce) administers LIHEAP and allocates funding directly to a network of community action agencies, also known as local agency providers, located throughout the state of Florida.

Program benefits vary greatly from state to state. Qualifying in another state does not guarantee that you will automatically be able to qualify or receive the same level of assistance in Florida. The following is a summary of Florida’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program:

  • Depending on the funds available in your county, you may be able to apply for assistance up to three times a year, but not every month.
  • LIHEAP may help pay your natural gas or propane bill only in the winter, if you use gas or propane as your primary source to heat your home. If gas or propane is used only for purposes other than heating, such as hot water or cooking, the program cannot pay the bill.
  • The program cannot pay for water, sewer or telephone services.
  • Your local LIHEAP provider makes the payments directly to your utility company on your behalf.

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Florida Commerce is the state administrator for LIHEAP and Florida Commerce’s roles include:

  • Applying for funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Distributing funding in the form of grants to local agency providers, which are either nonprofit agencies or local governments;
  • Monitoring local agency providers to ensure that they administer the funding in compliance with state and federal laws and rules; and
  • Providing technical assistance to local agency providers to help them comply with state and federal requirements.

The Department of Commerce cannot:

  • Provide funds or direct assistance to citizens;
  • Accept applications
  • Help citizens apply for assistance;
  • Help citizens schedule an appointment with a local agency provider; nor
  • Determine eligibility.

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How do I apply for this program?

To get an application and to find out how and where to apply for help, contact your local LIHEAP provider. Look for the county in which you live- the agency’s name, address and telephone number will be located below the name of the county. Call that agency and they will help you with the application process.

To apply for LIHEAP in Florida, you should follow these general steps:

  • Check Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for LIHEAP in Florida. Eligibility is often based on factors such as household income, family size, and energy costs.
  • Gather Required Documents: Collect necessary documentation, which may include proof of income, recent utility bills, identification, and other relevant information. The specific documents required can vary, so it’s essential to check with the local LIHEAP office.
  • Contact Local LIHEAP Office: Locate the LIHEAP office in your county or region in Florida. You can find this information on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) website or by contacting your local Community Action Agency (CAA). The CAAs often administer LIHEAP at the local level.
  • Submit Application: Obtain and complete the LIHEAP application form. You may be able to download the form from the DEO website or obtain it in person from the local LIHEAP office or CAA. Follow the instructions carefully and provide all required documentation.
  • Interview/Verification: Some LIHEAP programs may require an interview or additional verification steps. Be prepared to respond to any requests for information promptly.
  • Application Review: The LIHEAP office will review your application and determine your eligibility. If approved, assistance may be provided directly to your utility company or as a direct payment to you, depending on the program.
  • Notification of Approval/Denial: You will receive notification regarding the status of your application. If approved, it will include details about the amount of assistance you will receive.
  • Use of Assistance: The LIHEAP assistance is typically applied to your energy bills to help offset costs.

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Required Documentation to Apply

  • Most recent home energy bill;
  • Final Utility Termination Notice;
  • Proof of income (paycheck stubs or other proof that shows your current gross income);
  • Photo identification of the applicant and other household members or any document that establishes identity will be accepted;
  • Social security cards (or numbers) of all household members; and
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.

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Eligibility required to Apply

  • Income Limits: LIHEAP eligibility is often based on your household income. Income limits may vary, and they are typically set at a percentage of the federal poverty level. The lower your income in relation to the poverty level, the higher the likelihood of eligibility.
  • Household Size: The size of your household is considered when determining eligibility. Larger households may have higher income limits.
  • Citizenship/Residency: You must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. Florida residents are typically eligible to apply for LIHEAP.
  • Utility Costs: Your eligibility may also depend on the amount of your home energy costs. LIHEAP is designed to assist households with high energy burdens.

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FAQs. Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program 2024

1. What is LIHEAP?

LIHEAP is a federally funded program designed to assist low-income households with their home energy bills, including heating and cooling expenses.

2. How can I apply for LIHEAP in Florida?

To apply for LIHEAP in Florida, contact your local LIHEAP office or Community Action Agency (CAA). You can find the application form on the DEO website or obtain it in person from the local office.

3. What are the eligibility criteria?

Eligibility is often based on factors such as household income, family size, and energy costs. Specific income limits and other criteria may vary, so it’s crucial to check with the local LIHEAP office for the most accurate information.

4. What documents do I need to apply?

Required documents may include proof of income, recent utility bills, identification, and other relevant information. The exact documentation can vary, so contact the local LIHEAP office for a list of necessary documents.

5. How is LIHEAP assistance provided?

LIHEAP assistance may be provided directly to your utility company or as a direct payment to you, depending on the program. The amount of assistance is determined based on your eligibility and the availability of funds.

6. Can I apply if I rent my home?

Yes, LIHEAP is available to both homeowners and renters. Eligibility is based on income and other factors rather than home ownership.

7. Is LIHEAP a one-time assistance program?

LIHEAP assistance is typically provided once per program year. However, in some cases, emergency assistance may be available for households facing a crisis, such as a utility shut-off.

8. How long does it take to process the application?

The processing time for LIHEAP applications can vary. It’s advisable to submit your application as early as possible, especially during peak demand periods.

9. Can I apply for LIHEAP online?

Some LIHEAP offices may offer online application options. Check with your local office or visit the DEO website for information on online application processes.

10. Where can I get more information?

For more information, contact your local LIHEAP office, Community Action Agency, or visit the Florida DEO website. They can provide the most up-to-date information and address specific questions you may have.

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