Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
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.
Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
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 (FloridaCommerce) 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.
- 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.
Instead, these services are provided by the local agency providers. Please keep reading for more information.
Who is eligible for Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)?
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.Florida Medicaid Program Benefits
In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:
|Household Size||Maximum Income Level (Per Year)|
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.
How do I apply for Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)?
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.Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Program
How to Receive an Application and How to Apply for Assistance
- You may apply online through your local LIHEAP provider (see Find Your Local Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Provider For Help) or through the local LIHEAP provider's website. You must apply through the appropriate agency for the county in which you live. Look under your county for the name and phone number of that agency. Check to see if there as an online application that you can complete so that you can submit your application without needing to visit the office location. A PDF application may be made available by the agency for you to begin the application. If an online application is not available, please contact the local office for the preferred method of receiving either PDF or paper applications, along with supporting documentation.
- Call your local LIHEAP provider. These agencies employ caseworkers who are knowledgeable about various programs and who specialize in providing guidance and assistance to citizens. Please be aware that the phone number may be busy:
- All local agencies are receiving a very high call volume with requests for assistance. They are answering and returning calls as quickly as possible.
- Please be patient and keep trying to contact the local LIHEAP agency.
- Please be aware that many local agencies take calls only during specific hours of operation.
- To manage the high number of requests for assistance, most local LIHEAP agencies require an appointment. You may schedule an appointment with agency staff for assistance with completing the application.
- The local agency receives applications, determines your eligibility and makes payments directly to energy companies on your behalf.
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.
How to Appeal If You Have Been Denied Assistance
Contact the local agency provider to find out how to appeal. FloridaCommerce does not have access to your records and is unable to provide information about your application or status.
Complaint About a Local Agency Provider or a Local Agency Provider Employee
If you have applied and qualified for assistance, but the local provider agency has not paid your bill, you need to contact the local LIHEAP agency to find out why. All complaints must be directed to the supervisor or Executive Director of the local LIHEAP provider. The Florida Department of Commerce does not have authority to respond to any complaints about a local agency provider or to intervene on your behalf. Employees of local agency providers are not employees of FloridaCommerce; therefore, FloridaCommerce does not have the authority to reprimand or discipline an employee of a local agency.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Draft State Plan and Review
Beginning on Monday, July 25, 2022, at 8:00AM Eastern Time, FloridaCommerce will be hosting a public review and comment period regarding the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Draft State Plan for Fiscal Year 2023. The public review and comment period will end at 11:59:59PM Eastern Time, on Friday, August 12, 2022. The draft LIHEAP State Plan can be viewed online at the link below.