The Missouri Department of Social Services has launched its program to help low-income households cope with heating bills through March. The application period for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now open.
Vice President of LIHEAP and Weatherization Administration, Connie Taylor, says Missourians living at 135 percent of the federal poverty level or below qualify for LIHEAP. “Typically, if someone is receiving social security benefits or SSI benefits, they’re on a fixed income. More than likely they’re going to be able to qualify for the program. Also, if someone is receiving food stamps, they’ve already gone through some income eligibility requirements.”
“We work through the state system to determine eligibility based upon the income information that applies to that household,” Taylor explains. “$1,313 dollars is the maximum monthly income a household of one can make in order to apply and be eligible for LIHEAP.”
Payments can range from $45 to $450, based on household size, income, and type of fuel used for home heating. The payments are generally made directly to the utility company. More than 146,000 Missouri households received LIHEAP assistance last fiscal year.
Missourians interested in the program can download the application online, but they must apply through their local LIHEAP contract agency. There are currently 19 agencies across the state of Missouri.