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Learn about Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Known commonly as Fuel Assistance, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides eligible households with help in paying a portion of winter heating bills.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) application is free. ​​No fee is required to apply, and free help is available to complete applications.  Beware of scams by people charging  an “application fee” to help submit an application. If you need help completing the application, contact your local service provider for free assistance.

Eligible applicant information

Homeowners and renters including households whose cost of heat is included in the rent can apply at the agency in their area. Eligibility is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age or older. Household income cannot exceed 60% of estimated State Median Income.

You may also review the Cold Relief Brochure

You can call the Cold Relief Heatline (800) 632-8175 

You can look up your city or town on the listing of Service Providers by Town

Eligible activities and funding requirements

This program provides assistance through a fixed benefit amount for the cost of the primary source of heat with includes, but is not limited to:

  • Oil
  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Propane
  • Kerosene
  • Wood
  • Coal

If eligible, discounts are automatically given on:

  • Electric bills for investor owned electric utilities
  • Gas bills for investor-owned gas utilities
  • Telephone bills

Payments for actual usage or fuel delivery are made directly to the heating vendor for primary energy needs from November 1st to April 30th except when the cost of heating is included in the rent.

Funding limit information

FY 2021 LIHEAP SUPPLEMENTAL Eligibility and Benefit Chart

FY 2022 LIHEAP Income Eligibility and Benefit Level Chart - July 2021

The benefit levels are dependent on the funding allocated to Massachusetts by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Housing subsidies will also determine the specific benefit level.

Selection criteria information

There are a variety of factors that impact the eligibility of a household. Please contact the local fuel assistance agency for detailed information on criteria used for eligibility.

How to apply

First-time applicants must apply in person at the fuel assistance agency in their area. Households must apply each year; applications are mailed to households after the first year. Households can apply from November 1st to April 30th of the program year. Applicants who are denied assistance have the right to appeal through the local fuel assistance agency.  Click this link for an agency listing by town.

You may also review the Cold Relief Brochure

Cold Relief Heatline (800) 632-8175

Plans and Information

 

FY 2022 LIHEAP State Plan

The American Rescue Plan and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created and will fund the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to be administered through the Department of Housing and Community Development.

FY2022 Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) State Plan Draft

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