SOURCE: News release from Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) announced that individuals can begin submitting applications for Program Year 2021 of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). An online application as well as more information can be found at: eap.ihcda.in.gov or by calling 2-1-1.
“I encourage families in need of assistance paying their utility bill to see if they qualify for the Energy Assistance Program,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who serves as board chair for IHCDA. “In addition to providing a financial benefit to help offset the increased utility costs during the winter months, the program protects eligible households from having their utilities disconnected.”
To be eligible to receive energy assistance, a household must make no more than 60% of the state median income (see chart below). The most recent three months of income are used to determine eligibility. Monthly and annual equivalent amounts are listed below for reference purposes only.
Applications for the LIHEAP are reviewed and processed by a statewide network of Local Service Providers (LSPs). Due to the high demand, it may take LSPs up to 55 days to determine eligibility. After a benefit has been awarded it may take an additional 30 days for the utility company to process the benefit. Individuals are encouraged to continue paying their utility bills while waiting for their EAP benefit.
Households that have had their utilities disconnected, or have received a disconnect notice, should contact their LSP for an appointment rather than applying online. LSPs can also provide resources for households that meet the eligibility requirements that use alternative sources like propane or wood to heat their homes.
“Many households across our state have been financially impacted by COVID-19,” said Jacob Sipe, Executive Director of IHCDA. “We are pleased to be able to offer an enhanced benefit this program year designed to help ensure qualified households have the support necessary to keep their homes warm this winter.”
Additional support is available for households that have experienced a recent loss in employment income. A one-time $350 CARES Act benefit, on top of the standard EAP benefit, may be available to those applicants. In order to qualify for this additional benefit, applicants must meet the EAP eligibility criteria and not have received the additional benefit payment during last program year.
Key Dates for Program Year 2021 LIHEAP
The LIHEAP Block Grant is a non-competitive, federally funded block grant offered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). LIHEAP provides financial assistance to low-income households to maintain their home utility services. LIHEAP is administered in Indiana by IHCDA.
During last program year more than 114,000 Indiana households received assistance through the LIHEAP.