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Christie Administration Announces Home Heating Assistance Still Available for New Jersey Residents
Home > Media Room > HMFA in the News > News 2017 > Christie Administration Announces Home Heating Assistance Still Available for New Jersey Residents
For Immediate Release: Contact:
March 9, 2017 Tammori Petty
Emike Omogbai
609-292-6055
 

Christie Administration Announces Home Heating Assistance Still Available for New Jersey Residents

Application Period for Households to Apply for Funding to Help Offset Cost of Winter Heating Bills has been Extended to May 31

TRENTON – The Christie Administration today announced that the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is still accepting applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for residents across the state. The federally-funded program assists low-income households with their heating bills and provides emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance. Program funding is administered through the DCA Division of Housing and Community Resources.

“We want to remind eligible residents that LIHEAP benefits are still available,” said DCA Commissioner Charles A. Richman. “This program provides vital assistance to our neediest citizens and helps them focus on other necessities such as food, medication, and housing. This past season, the program aided more than 300,000 households. We would like to assist as many households as possible again this year.”

To be eligible for LIHEAP assistance, households must be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent, and have a gross income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Persons who live in public housing and/or receive rental assistance are not eligible unless they are responsible for their own heating/cooling costs paid directly to the fuel supplier. The amount of the LIHEAP heating benefit is determined by income, household size, fuel type, and heating region.

Households that qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly Food Stamps – are automatically screened to determine eligibility for LIHEAP. SNAP applicants are encouraged to bring electric, gas, oil and other energy utility bills that could qualify them to receive federal assistance to help pay these costs. SNAP recipients who qualify for LIHEAP may be eligible for an increase in SNAP benefits.

The LIHEAP enrollment period, which began on October 1, 2016, has been extended to May 31, 2017. The average LIHEAP benefit for a household is approximately $400 per season and it generally takes 4-6 weeks to process a properly completed application.

The LIHEAP application also serves as an application for the Universal Service Fund (USF) Program, which is state funded and administered by the Division of Housing and Community Resources. USF helps low-income households pay for their electric and natural gas costs. LIHEAP eligible households may also be eligible to receive USF assistance.  Applicants that apply will only need to apply once a year for both programs. To be eligible, a household must have gross income at or below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and pay more than 3 percent of its annual income for electric and 3 percent of its annual income for natural gas.  If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than 6 percent of its annual income on electricity to be eligible.
 
The chart below provides maximum monthly income guideline levels for both LIHEAP and USF.

MAXIMUM MONTHLY GROSS INCOME ELIGIBILITY LEVELS 
FFY 2017

Household Size

LIHEAP Program

USF Program

1

$1,980

$1,733

2

$2,670

$2,337

3

$3,360

$2,940

4

$4,050

$3,544

5

$4,740

$4,148

6

$5,430

$4,752

7

$6,122

$5,357

8

$6,815

$5,964

9

$7,509

$6,570

10

$8,202

$7,177

11

$8,895

$7,784

12

$9,589

$8,390

If more than 12, add:

$164 for each person

$606 for each person

For more information on LIHEAP and USF, visit www.energyassistance.nj.gov or call 1-800-510-3102 (LIHEAP).
 
The Division of Housing and Community Resources strengthens and revitalizes communities through the delivery of affordable housing, supportive services and the provision of financial and technical assistance to communities, local government and community based organizations.