Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists low-income households to meet the expenses of keeping warm during the cold months.
How does LIHEAP Help?
Those who qualify for LIHEAP receive a credit to their primary fuel heating utility account.
If a household has a heating emergency, LIHEAP can help with heat system repairs and replacements. All heating types (wood, propane, coal, etc.), both renters and homeowners alike, and most home types (mobile, stick, double wide, etc.) qualify for LIHEAP assistance.
Who Is Eligible for LIHEAP?
Eligibility for weatherization and fuel assistance is based on your income and assets. Please refer to the State of Montana website for the current LIHEAP Income Guidelines which are updated around October 1 of each year.
If your entire household receives benefits from the SNAP Program, your LIHEAP Application process may be drastically simplified.
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 1 month 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 LIHEAP application.
- Recent fuel bill that shows name and number on the account.
- Recent bank statement of all accounts; all pages.
When Is LIHEAP Available?
LIHEAP assistance is available from September 1 to April 30 through the Utility Services Program located at 648 N. Jackson Street.
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 Utility Services at (406) 447-1625. If you are approved for LIHEAP during the normal heating season (September 1- April 30 each year), you are automatically 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 18 years of age and older must sign the application.
- All sections of the application must be complete.
Applications for each season can be submitted beginning October 1 through April 30. There are three different times at which applications will be sent out. The time frame in which you receive yours depends on the status of your household, found in the household descriptions below. Each of the three households who received a LIHEAP benefit last season will be sent mail on the following schedule:
- Households using deliverable fuels (propane, fuel oil, coal) - applications will be mailed to households on September 1.
- Households on fixed incomes (Social Security, Pension) - applications will be mailed to households in mid-September.
- Households who received a LIHEAP benefit last season: applications will be mailed to them on October 1.
More Information About LIHEAP
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.
NorthWestern Energy Discount
If you qualify for LIHEAP, you automatically receive the following NorthWestern Energy discounts. The year-round discount begins when you sign up and qualify for LIHEAP.
- Electric Service – Income-qualified customers will receive a 25% discount on their NorthWestern Energy electric bill from November through April. Beginning in May 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.