Heating bills are expected to surge this winter, thanks to higher fuel costs and colder weather, but there’s help available to low-income Massachusetts residents. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is starting its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on Nov. 1.
“Now more than ever, we need to ensure that we’re fueling the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program with the funding and support it needs so that it can in turn help heat households across the Commonwealth this winter,” Senator Markey said in a statement to local Springfield news station WWLP.
A spokesperson for the program told WWLP that submissions are being accepted and is urging residents to apply. Residents can apply from Nov. 1 to April 30 of next year.
The program provides a fixed benefit amount for the cost of the primary source of heat for the household. According to the Massachusetts DHCD, eligibility is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age or older. Household income cannot surpass 60% of the estimated state median income. For example, the Mass DHCD said that a family of four making $81,561 per year would be eligible for the program.
Assistance may be applied to:
- Natural gas
First-time applicants must apply in person at the fuel assistance agency in their area. Households must also apply each year and applications are mailed after the first year. If your application is denied, you can appeal this decision through your local fuel assistance agency.
Check here or call the Cold Relief Heatline at (800) 632-8175 for the location of your local fuel assistance agency. You can also apply online for home energy assistance or contact your local agency if you need assistance completing the application.
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