LIHEAP in Virginia
LIHEAP, low-income home energy assistance program, is a federally funded program that provides assistance to state residents that face difficulty paying heating and cooling expenses. The program distributes money to individuals and families through an application process on a yearly basis. Virginia LIHEAP provides heating assistance to approximately 140,000 residents and cooling assistance to approximately 80,000 residents. In Virginia, residents can apply through the Virginia Department of Social Services or your local utility company. The participating utility companies that support Virginia LIHEAP includes:
- Appalachian Power
- Atmos Energy
- City of Charlottesville Utilities
- Columbia Gas
- Dominion Virginia Power
- Harrisonburg Electric
- North Virginia Electric Cooperative
- Virginia Natural Gas
- Washington Gas
Virginia LIHEAP Assistance
The Virginia Department of Social Services and Virginia Community Action Agencies accept Virginia LIHEAP applications. Virginia LIHEAP is designed to provide assistance, but not seek out individuals and families that need assistance. You will need to apply for funding by submitting an application to the appropriate agency. When you application is submitted and subsequently approved, the funding is passed along to the Department of Social Services or your local utility company. The benefit levels, as of 2011, for Virginia LIHEAP were $277 (heating expenses), $150 (minimum, cooling) and $600 (maximum, cooling).
In the event you need additional support to pay your utility expenses, you local utility company can help. Upon approval for Virginia LIHEAP assistance, call you sponsoring utility company to see if you or your family qualifies for additional funding.
LIHEAP Application & How to Apply
The Virginia LIHEAP application is accepted at your local Department of Social Services and local Community Action Agencies. After all applications are processed, the federal funding is distributed to the states. The funding arrives to the states between October 1 and November 14 (heating), June 27 and August 15 (cooling) and November 1 and March 15 (crisis).
Even though individuals and families can apply for Virginia LIHEAP assistance through the Department of Social Services, you can also contact your local utility provider for additional financial support. For locations and income requirements, contact the administering agency at 1-800-230-6977.
LIHEAP Eligibility – Am I Eligible?
In order to qualify for LIHEAP in Virginia, individuals and families must meet specific federal income guidelines. The minimum income is approximately 130% of the federal poverty level. As of 2011, the Department of Social Services followed the federal income guidelines:
|Family Size||130% of Poverty|
If families have more than eight members in your household, you will need to add an additional $4,966 per member at the current 130% of the federal poverty level.
If your individual or family income falls within the established poverty level, contact your utility provider or the Virginia Department of Social Services.