One of the hottest topics in many countries right now is the cost of utility bills as they begin to soar exponentially, and this is also the case in the USA.
A mixture of reasons – from government mismanagement in multiple countries to the Russian invasion of Ukraine – means that many families will find it significantly harder to heat their homes this winter.
That is why various schemes are now in place or being put in place in order to combat these costs and help families where possible.
What support is there for my energy bills?
One of the main ports of call to get help with heating your home in the USA is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
This scheme can help with paying the bills or the emergency services if there is a utility shutoff.
It can also help with low-cost home improvements such as weatherization to make your home more fuel efficient and subsequently lower the utility bills.
Who is eligible for LIHEAP?
Eligibility requirements can vary between state, region and city, but the scheme is primarily for a person or family involved in other benefit programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF or welfare).
Furthermore, certain needs-tested veterans benefits may be automatically eligible too.
Being qualified for LIHEAP does not immediately mean that you are eligible for help as it is dependent on how much money the scheme has available at the time.
The average figures see around 20 percent of households that are qualified for LIHEAP actually receive benefits.
When LIHEAP funds run out for the year, no more benefits can be given until Congress makes more funds available.
Other areas that can be explored to help with heating bills include the COVID-19 Rental Assistance program, as well as various medical aid programs.