How to Get Help with Utility Bills! Do you need emergency help with utility bills? It is devastating to be sitting in your home and suddenly the lights go out. No, it isn’t a bad light bulb; your electricity has been turned off! Maybe you received your check late, or you are between jobs and didn’t have the money.
It is comforting to know, there are local, state agencies as well as government grants to help you pay utilities, electric, and oil bills. You can get assistance from government agencies as well as community organization or charities like Goodwill Industries, Catholic Charities and other not for profit agencies.
These financial grants are given out based on gross family income, and the availability of funds. You will receive a portion of the amount needed to keep your lights on or get services restored. Sometimes you will need to go to more than one organization to get the whole bill paid.
Emergency Help with Utility Bills and More
The first place you want to seek help is your utility company. Many utility and electric company have programs to help low-income families with emergency help with utility bills. To prevent your services being turned off, contact your utility company, as soon as you know you are having a problem paying.
They can set up a payment plan by splitting a 12-month bill cycle into equal amounts. This was each month you will know exactly what you owe. Contact your utility company, to see how they can help you.
LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
The LIHEAP grant aids low-income consumers with a one-time check to help with heating or utility bills. You may qualify even if you work, as long as your income meets Federal Poverty Guidelines. Checks are sent out the first week of January, made out in the consumer’s name.
The end of the year is the time many households have a balance that needs to be paid for the previous year. They also provide emergency help families struggling to pay heating bills. This money can help consumers to begin the new year with a zero balance. There are other locations such as churches, school and community agencies that can enroll for this benefit. Register for LIHEAP!
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The Home Weatherization
The federal government gives grants to homeowners to make needed repairs on their property. This program makes repairs, not necessarily to beautify a home, but to make it a safe place to live and energy efficient.
- Leaky Roofs
- Mold removal
- Storm Clean up
- Repair stairs
- Storm damage
- Handicap ramps
- Septic and Well repairs
- Removing lead paint
- Furnace repair and replacement
Do you Quality for a Home Weatherization Grant?
If you receive Supplemental Security Income, VA disability Aid to Families with Dependent Children, you are eligible to receive a weatherization grant. Contact the government agencies above, for a full list of qualification for the program. Apply Here. Who is eligible?
- Families with children
- Household with disabled people
- People over 60 years of age and older
- Gross family income at or below Federal Poverty Guidelines (See above)
State Assistance Programs
If you are too late to register for LIHEAP this year, there are other programs that can help with heating and utilities. Always check with your power company to see what programs they offer, to help you manage and save on your bills. Take advantage of the energy efficient light bulb program. You can receive free energy saving bulbs, to help you experience more savings.
Heating System Repair & Replacement Program (HEARTWAP)
Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP) provides heating assistance to low-income families by making repairs and replacing heating and air conditioning systems. The program distributed funds to local agencies and they screen and administer help to those in need. The program works with the same organization that oversees Low-Income Home Energy Assistance. (LIHEAP)
Am I Eligible for Assistance with Utility Bills?
Eligibility for HEARTWAP is based on gross family income, which cannot exceed 60% the Estimated State Median Income. Services are only available to homeowners. Landlords do not qualify. Repairs or replacements on heating systems are done in the Winter months, are considered emergency situations. To apply for HEARTWAP, contact the Fuel Assistance agency in your city for an application for more information.
Energy Crisis Interventions Program
The Energy Crisis Interventions Program helps families low-income families prevent electric and utilities from being disconnected. They also help with the reconnection of services. Many families have elderly and disabled members using electric-powered medical equipment such as oxygen, chair lifts, hospital beds, dialysis and other lifesaving equipment.
When you about to have your electricity disconnected, they can intervene on your behalf, by contacting your Power Company informing them, they will be handling the past-due amount. Contact DSS to find out what local community organization that gives out and receives applications.
DSS Emergency Assistance
Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA)
These benefits help adults receiving Supplemental Security Income to help with an emergency situation, such as help with rent, electric or utility payments. EAA helps already fragile people to maintain stability and prevent homelessness. They can receive help such as:
- Pay utilities
- Emergency housing
- Moving expenses
Emergency Assistance to Families – EAF
These benefits help low-income families facing a financial, physical or family emergency situation. The family must have a child under the age of 18 or 19 and be attending school full-time. A pregnant woman is eligible to apply for EAF benefits. Finances are provided to help with:
- Child care
- heating fuel
- Stop evictions
- Utility disconnection
- safe housing for domestic violence
Local Assistance Programs
There are local agencies and charities that offer emergency help with utility bills. If your electricity or utilities are disconnected or about to be terminated, these agencies can help you stop the disconnection or get your services restored.
These organizations provide assistance with the support to maintain the well-being of your family, Most of these organizations are nationwide but also located in most communities in the United States. Check out, the following organizations that can help.