How to apply for HEAP?

In the U.S, there are several aid programs for low-income families. SNAP provides food stamps (which are now deposited directly onto an EBT card), SSA provides cash benefits to those who have lost their jobs, etc. One of these programs is Home Energy Assistance Program HEAP.

This program has been specially designed to help citizens bear the cost of heating their homes, especially during the colder months of the year. Although HEAP is a federally funded program, applications are handled by each state in the country. The initiative – originally launched in 1981 – now also covers the purchase of a boiler (available only in emergencies) and the repair or replacement of equipment.

Now that you know what HEAP is, it’s time to talk about the pink elephant in the room: How to apply for HEAP and thus get help to pay for energy service? If, like many, you also ask yourself this question, you will find the answer in minutes!

How to apply for HEAP?

Previous considerations on HEAP

Contrary to what many think, with HEAP you can pay more than electricity. You will also find help to pay your natural or propane gas bill, buy wood or charcoal, etc. The program itself covers help to buy any fuel the household needs to keep the heat running.

As usual, HEAP applications begin processing in November. However, we recommend that you visit the specialized website of your state, since each of them has a certain autonomy for handling requests.

Note: There is one thing you should know before proceeding with the application process for HEAP and that is that it is an emergency program. What does this mean? That the priority will be for those who are about to run out of fuel or in imminent danger of power or power outages.

Are HEAP benefits available year-round?

Unfortunately not. As stated above, the reception of applications begins in the month of November -the date varies depending on the state- and the benefits of the program are distributed during the winter months.. But why is HEAP only active during the winter? The reason is simple: a family that loses its heat during the coldest time of the year risks death or complications that could be very detrimental to health.

Who can apply for HEAP?

HEAP eligibility remains the same in every state in the United States. Who is eligible to apply for HEAP benefits? Let’s see:

  • US citizens or qualified aliens.
  • A valid SSN is required for each household member.
  • Applicants must be receiving benefits: SNAP food stamps, Temporary Assistance, SSI, etc.

If no member of your family receives assistance or financial aid from the state, all is not lost! Family income is also taken into account to grant program benefits. As long as your income stays below the established limit, you may be eligible for HEAP.

It is important to note that this program does not distinguish between homeowners or renters.. You can apply even if you have your own house, you have money in your bank account, you opened some investments -such as bonds, for example- or you pay for heating within the rent of your home.

How to apply for HEAP? Every options

Although HEAP is a program managed directly by the states of the country, it maintains uniformity in the application process. Arguably there are a couple of slight changes between states, but nothing to worry about! Some states, like California, allow you to apply for benefits over the phone, while others limit online applications..

If you want detailed information about the application process, we recommend visit the website for financial benefits and assistance programs in your state or county of residence.

Apply for HEAP online

The states that use web pages to receive applications have their own electronic address. For example, for electricity assistance in New York, it’s myBenefits.ny.gov. In the case of Texas, Help for Texans. Later, you will see a table with all available links.

Apply for HEAP in person

To apply to the program in person, just go to one of the local offices that manage HEAP. States usually have an online tool that will help you locate the center closest to you. Every county and city in the country usually has one or more offices that are responsible for receiving applications in person.

Apply for HEAP by mail

If you prefer, you can download your application online, fill it out and mail it to your city, county or district office. Further on, you will find a table with various addresses or with links that will allow you to identify which center is closest to you (and its address).

Apply for HEAP by email

Email applications are not common, but after the COVID-19 pandemic they have become widespread. If this option is available in your state, you will find it in the application table that we leave you at the end of this article. You can also visit the official website for your county, city, or state program to find the email address you need.

Apply for HEAP by phone

HEAP applications by phone are only available in a few states and will be accepted as long as the request is an emergency.

What do I need to apply for HEAP?

The list of requirements depends exclusively on the state. However, we have noticed that most states in the country require, among other things:

  • The last utility bill.
  • A rent receipt with the address of the property.
  • Mortgage payment receipt (if applicable).
  • Social Security number or, failing that, ITIN number.
  • Proof of receipt of financial aid or payment receipts to verify the income limit.
  • Copy of the lease or, failing that, the ownership document of the house (if owned)
  • Official photo ID for each household member. It also serves the birth certificate, passport or driver’s license.

How to apply for HEAP in each US state?

Need detailed information about the HEAP application process in your state? We leave you a table that can help you. In it you will find the telephone number, address and website for remote applications, by mail or in person.

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