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Saturday, September 14, 2013

LIHEAP Program Helps Low Income Families Pay Their Utility Bills

Help For Utility Bills

No individual or family should have to decide between paying a utility bill or eating. Every state offers programs for low-income families that help pay energy bills. The program is called the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and its purpose is to help keep families safe and healthy by ensuring they continue to have utility service.

The LIHEAP program is funded through local government and non-profit organizations. Low-income families who meet the qualifications can receive financial assistance for heating and cooling costs and also receive help in improving energy efficiency in their homes to save them more money. This can include free weather stripping, insulation, and even minor house repairs that will help improve energy efficiency. The program also provides payment assistance in emergency situations.

Benefit levels can vary greatly among LIHEAP programs throughout the country. In California, for example, a family of four would qualify if their annual income was no more than $46,738. In Massachusetts, the limit for the same family of 4 would be $61,664, and in Michigan it is $34,584. The income guidelines are based on income levels for each state.

The LIHEAP program is designed to reduce the risk of health and safety problems that may result from individuals who are unable to pay their energy bills and may resort to unsafe heating and cooling practices. Eligible individuals may inquire about the program through their state or local office of community services.

For more information, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/programs/liheap/about
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