New Program Year For LIHEAP Now Begins October 1Monday, June 27, 2011 | 11:39 am
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Start Date Aligned
With Federal Fiscal Year
NASHVILLE – The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced that program funds offered through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will now be awarded annually to coincide with the federal fiscal year moving from July 1 to October 1.
Individuals who have received LIHEAP assistance since July 2010 must wait until October 1 for the new program year to begin before they can re-apply for benefits.
“We are aware of the hardships many citizens face during the summer months where there is an increase in utility costs,” said Tennessee Department of Human Services Assistant Commissioner Robert L. Matthews. “DHS is here to assist in any way possible.”
LIHEAP regulations establish 150 percent of the poverty level as the maximum income level allowed in determining eligibility. Income levels, maintained in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are viewable at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/11poverty.shtml. Currently, a Tennessee family of four with a household income no greater than $33,525 would meet eligibility requirements.
The program’s mission is to assist low-income households -- particularly those who pay a high proportion of household income for home energy bills -- in helping them meet their immediate home energy needs.
Individuals also are served on a priority point system specifically targeted toward households with members who are elderly, disabled and/or under the age of six. LIHEAP payments are made directly to the local utility company or energy supplier. Interested applicants need to contact the local agency that serves their community.
For more information on the LIHEAP program and to view a list of LIHEAP agencies, please visit http://tn.gov/humanserv/adfam/afs_hea.html