Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/programs/liheap and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) http://energy.gov/eere/wipo/weatherization-assistance-program are two vital government programs which assist in paying utility bills, especially for single mothers. They also offer home weatherization that helps your home stay warm during winter periods and cooler in the summer and other repairs to minimize energy costs.
This article is meant to inform you about what the two programs are and how you can take advantage of both as a single mom.
What Is LIHEAP?
LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and its objective is to help individuals and families in the low-income bracket with their home electricity bills. Individuals who have successfully qualified for assistance are eligible for help with paying their bills, decreasing their bills on cooling and heating, assist families whenever there are energy crises, and in some cases, help with some home maintenance that is related to energy issues and weatherization.
What Are The Program Requirements?
Individuals or families who are in need of cash assistance for the cost of their home electricity bills may be eligible for assistance from LIHEAP. You may also qualify for this program if you already receive support from programs like SSI, TANF, or SNAP. Your State or Local LIHEAP Office http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap-state-and-territory-contact-listing will be able to verify your eligibility. In some cases, Veterans in various sectors of the country can also automatically qualify for LIHEAP assistance.
Families or individuals that want to apply for LIHEAP have to prove they really need the financial assistance program. Furthermore, the household’s income must meet the expected income requirements set by state and local LIHEAP offices, which are set in line with the current state average income guidelines as well as levels of federal poverty.
How to Sign Up
After receiving the confirmation that you are qualified for assistance from LIHEAP, you will have to contact the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) office on 1-866-674-6327 for help with your application process or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Always make sure the following documents below are with you before heading over to your local LIHEAP office:
- Utility bill copies (3 month period)
- Proof of income
- Proof of other income when applicable
- Proof of residence
- Proof of family members residing in your family home as well as Social Security Cards (or numbers) for all family members
- Evidence that you are a U.S. citizen, or have legal permanent residency.
Applicants can finalize their application forms at their local or state Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Offices from where they will be assisted.
Keeping families safe and healthy through programs that assist them with energy cost are the primary duties of the LIHEAP initiative. Their federal funded assistance funds are used for subsidizing costs associated with:
- Home energy bills
- Energy crises
- Weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs
LIHEAP can assist you to stay warm during winter periods and cool in the summer through programs that reduce the danger of health and safety problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program are programs aimed at reducing energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy effectiveness of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.
The program with about 8,500 workers and provides weatherization services to approximately 35,000 homes every year with the aid of the DOE funds. Through weatherization developments and innovative upgrades, these households are now able to save an average of $283 or more every year, according to a national evaluation of the program. Since the program began in 1976, WAP has assisted more than 7 million families through weatherization services.
Applying For The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The primary step in the application process is for your local weatherization agency to carry out an energy audit. This agency was set up for a nonprofit weatherization purpose. The energy audit is a computerized evaluation of your home’s energy usage determined by professional energy auditors. It involves an analysis of your energy bills on a monthly and yearly basis, a blower-door (pressurized) test of the penetration of external air into your house, and an assessment of all energy equipment for health and safety. Finally, the auditor will make available to you a recommended list of the best cost-effective energy conservative measures for your home.
After the completion of the audit assessment, the auditor or inspector from the local weatherization agency will discuss with you on the best way to process your application for the program; the inspector will recommend more work in some homes than in others. All tasks that will be executed are energy-related, and do not consist of a new roofing, siding, or similar structural enhancements. The standard expenditure is $6,500 per home. The process and all work to be done are expected to be between a day or two, after which you sign off on the last inspection.