Low Income Energy Assistance (LIEAP)
RMDC's Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is designed to assist low income households meet the expenses of keeping warm during the cold months.
How Does LIEAP Help?
Those who qualify for LIEAP receive a credit to their utility account if heat costs are paid directly and a heat rebate if heating costs are included in rent. Those who use wood are usually paid directly for wood purchases.
If a household has a heating emergency which poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of the household, LIEAP can help with emergency assistance. Some examples of an emergency are broken furnaces, hazardous conditions in the heating system, loss of primary supply of energy, or other forces outside the control of the household which cause a severe loss of heat.
Who Is Eligible for LIEAP?
Eligibility for weatherization and fuel assistance is based on your income and assets. Income eligibility guidelines change each year and are determined by the federal poverty level. Please refer to the State of Montana website for the current LIEAP Income Guidelines which are updated around October 1 of each year. Both homeowners and renters may apply for these programs.
If your entire household receives benefits from the SNAP Program, your LIEAP Application process may be drastically simplified.
The following information is provided to assist you in applying. Submitting an incomplete application or not submitting required documentation will delay the application process. Documents you will need to include with your application:
- Copies of verification for the prior 6 months of income from wages and all other sources for ALL household members, regardless of age. Examples: Child Support; All Wage Stubs; Unemployment Payment Stubs; Workman’s Compensation Payment Stubs; Social Security or SSI letters; Public Assistance/TANF/SNAP Benefit Statement; Section 8/Utility Payments; Alimony Payments; Veterans’ Benefits Statements; Self-Employment Forms with Schedule C Tax Form; Gift and Loan Forms.
- Current statement for all resources listed in Section 7 of the LIEAP application.
- Recent fuel bill that shows name and number on account.
- Recent bank statement of all accounts; all pages.
How Do I Apply?
The Low-Income Energy Assistance (LIEAP) and Weatherization Program application is available below during the heating season, October 1 through April 30 of each year.
You can apply for weatherization, or for assistance with an unsafe condition in your home's primary space or water heating system, at any time throughout the year by contacting Energy Services at (406) 447-1625. If you are approved for LIEAP during the normal heating season (October 1- April 30 each year) you are automatically made eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program (See Weatherization Program) and for assistance with no-heat emergencies.
- You must list ALL household members regardless of age or relationship, including roommates, boarders, etc.
- You must provide income verification for ALL household members, regardless of age or relationship.
- You must provide Social Security numbers for ALL household members, regardless of age or relationship.
- You must provide statements for ALL open bank accounts of ALL household members, regardless of the balance or usage of the account.
- ALL household members 16 years of age and older must sign the application.
- All sections of the application must be complete.
- If you need assistance filling out the application or just have questions, please call us at (406) 447-1625.
Applications for each season can be submitted beginning October 1 through April 30. Pre-printed applications to those households who received a LIEAP benefit last season will be mailed on the following schedule:
- Households using deliverable fuels (propane, fuel oil, coal) - those pre-printed applications will be mailed to households on September 1 of that year.
- Households on fixed incomes (Social Security, Pension) - those pre-printed applications will be mailed to households in mid-September.
- Remainder of households who received a LIEAP benefit last season will have their pre-printed application mailed to them on October 1 of that year.
Where Else Can I Find an Application?
In Helena, LIEAP applications are available at the LIEAP office in the Jackson Street Center located at 648 North Jackson Street, Helena MT 59601.
October through May our hours are 8:00am - 5:00pm Monday - Thursday, and 8:00am - 4:00pm on Fridays.
Please call 1-800-356-6544, or (406) 447-1625 to speak directly with a LIEAP representative.
Applications are also available at the RMDC Neighborhood Center Reception Office located at 200 South Cruse Avenue.
We strongly encourage LIEAP applicants to come into the Jackson Street Center for assistance with completing their application; no appointment is necessary.
More Information About LIEAP
All records and information provided by you or obtained through verification are confidential and are not available to the public. You will be sent a letter of notification. It will tell you whether you are eligible for assistance and what benefits you may expect to receive.
If you think you haven’t received the right amount of assistance, inform the eligibility worker immediately. You may ask for a hearing if you disagree with any action taken as a result of your application.
These are equal opportunity programs. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, disability, political beliefs, or religion, write or call the state Office of Fair Hearings, P.O. Box 202953, Helena MT 59620-2953; 406-444-2470.
Background of LIEAP
LIEAP is funded by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, and is administered by RMDC for Broadwater, Jefferson, and Lewis & Clark counties.
NorthWestern Energy Discount
If you qualify for LIEAP, you automatically receive the following NorthWestern Energy discounts. The year-round discount begins when you sign up and qualify for LIEAP.
- Electric Service – Income-qualified customers will receive a 25% discount on their NorthWestern Energy electric bill from November of that year through April of that year; after May of that year, the discount will be 15%.
- Gas Service – Income-qualified customers will receive a 30% discount on their NorthWestern Energy gas bill from November through April of that year.