Getting Help with Your Light Bill
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Many Florida homeowners struggle to pay their monthly power bill. In the Florida heat, a summer power bill can skyrocket and become much more expensive than usual. Households on a limited or fixed income can sometimes have trouble paying the power bill in the summertime. Luckily, a Florida program called the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is available to help low-income residents pay their electricity bill. If you’re facing an electricity bill you can’t afford, or the power company is threatening to shut your power off, this financial assistance program may be able to help you.
With help from the LIHEAP in Florida, many families have been able to find relief from their expensive power bills, while being able to keep their lights on and the air conditioner running. If you want to know if you qualify for LIHEAP and how you can take advantage of this government assistance program, continue reading through the sections below.
Eligibility for LIHEAP
Eligibility to participate in the LIHEAP program depends solely on household income. The program is meant to assist low or fixed income households in affording their monthly power bill. A one-person household with a gross yearly income of $17,820 or less is eligible to sign up for the LIHEAP. Similarly, a two-person household with an annual gross income of $24,030 or less is eligible to receive funds from LIHEAP. A household with four income-earning members that earns $36,450 or less in annual income may also be eligible for assistance through this program.
Additionally, if you or a family member currently participates in one of the following government programs, your household is automatically eligible for the power bill assistance program:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Veterans benefits
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Security Income
If you’re unsure of whether you and your family qualify for LIHEAP, then contact your county’s LIHEAP provider. The office can take your details and decide whether you would be eligible for financial assistance with your power bill.
Signing up for LIHEAP
If you know you’re eligible to receive LIHEAP aid, your next step is to fill out an application for financial assistance. You will first need to contact the LIHEAP office that is located in your county. You may either submit a LIHEAP application at a local office or online.
If you need to visit an office to complete your LIHEAP application, you can make an appointment so your visit is quick and easy. LIHEAP applicants can also get in touch with a representative who can help with the application process.
Once you’ve submitted your LIHEAP application, your eligibility will be determined. If you are eligible to receive LIHEAP benefits, the payments will be made directly to your utility company so you don’t have to hassle with receiving payment and distributing it as needed. LIHEAP cannot help with a phone or cable bill. The program’s financial contribution goes directly to your power company and is applied to your power bill. You’ll be responsible for paying the discounted bill that arrives in the mail.
The amount of aid that’s granted to you through LIHEAP will vary depending on the availability of funds in the county. Sometimes, the county will only have enough funding to help pay a small portion of your monthly gas or power bill. When your application is approved by the department, a representative will be able to go over the financial benefits you’ll be receiving through the program.
If you feel you’re eligible for the LIHEAP program but have received a denial letter after submitting your application, you can appeal the denial by calling your local LIHEAP office. Speaking with a representative in the office will allow them to review your application again and possibly overturn the decision.
LIHEAP was designed to help Florida residents on low or fixed incomes successfully pay their power bills. LIHEAP allows Florida residents to keep on their lights, heat, and air conditioning for their family. If you think your household is eligible for this useful program, then find your local LIHEAP office and apply today. Getting assistance with your monthly power bill can help keep your family comfortable and your budget in control.