Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) will begin accepting applications from older adults and people with disabilities on December 1.
The federally funded program helps low-income households with a one-time payment sent directly to their heating vendor to offset the high cost of warming their homes during the cold weather months.
“We know the cost of most things are increasing, and keeping homes warm and safe this winter will be a bigger burden for some of our neighbors,” said Carla West, senior director for human services at NCDHHS. “LIEAP helps ensure North Carolina’s older adults and people with disabilities who may be facing a financial hardship have the funds to help stay warm throughout these colder months.”
Payments will be distributed automatically to heating vendors beginning in December 2023 if a member of the household meets the following three requirements:
♦ Is age 60 or older or a person with a disability receiving services through the NCDHHS Division of Aging and Adult Services;
♦ Currently receives Food and Nutrition Services; and
♦ Received a LIEAP payment during the 2022-2023 season
Households meeting the requirements for the automatic payment will be notified of their eligibility in November 2023 and do not need to re-apply for LIEAP.
Any household with a person 60 or older or with a disability and is receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services who did not receive notice of an automated payment, can apply online at www.epass.nc.gov. Applicants can also call their county department of social services to apply by phone, in person or print a paper application from www.epass.nc.gov to mail, fax or drop off at their county department of social services.
To be eligible for the LIEAP program, a household must:
♦ Have at least one U.S. citizen or non-citizen who meets the eligibility requirements;
♦ Have income equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty limit; and
♦ Be responsible for their heating cost
Beginning January 2, 2024, all other eligible households who meet the eligibility requirements may begin applying. Applications will be accepted from January 2 until March 31, or until funds are exhausted.
Last year, the LIEAP program provided approximately $63 million to help more than 143,000 households pay their heating bills from December 2022 through March 2023.
For more information on the program and eligibility, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/low-income-services/low-income-energy-assistance.