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Program Overview

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that helps income-qualified families with home heating and cooling costs. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) administers LIHEAP and allocates funding directly to a network of community action agencies, also known as local agency providers, located throughout the state of Florida. Program benefits vary greatly from state to state. Qualifying in another state does not guarantee that you will automatically be able to qualify or receive the same level of assistance in Florida. The following is a summary of Florida's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program:

  • Depending on the funds available in your county, you may be able to apply for assistance up to three times a year, but not every month.
  • LIHEAP may help pay your natural gas or propane bill only in the winter, if you use gas or propane as your primary source to heat your home. If gas or propane is used only for purposes other than heating, such as hot water or cooking, the program cannot pay the bill.
  • The program cannot pay for water, sewer or telephone services.
  • Your local LIHEAP provider makes the payments directly to your utility company on your behalf.

DEO is the state administrator for LIHEAP and DEO's roles include:

  • Applying for funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Distributing funding in the form of grants to local agency providers, which are either nonprofit agencies or local governments;
  • Monitoring local agency providers to ensure that they administer the funding in compliance with state and federal laws and rules; and
  • Providing technical assistance to local agency providers to help them comply with state and federal requirements.

The Department of Economic Opportunity cannot:

  • Provide funds or direct assistance to citizens;
  • Accept applications
  • Help citizens apply for assistance;
  • Help citizens schedule an appointment with a local agency provider; nor
  • Determine eligibility.

Instead, these services are provided by the local agency providers. Please keep reading for more information.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible if you meet the following requirements:

  • Have a total household gross income of no more than 150% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines;
  • Be responsible for paying your home heating or cooling bills;
  • Be a resident of Florida; and
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, qualified alien or permanent resident of the U.S.

Household Income Limits

You may qualify for help if your total household income does not exceed the household income limits listed below. The local agency will help you determine what is included as income.

Household Income Limits By Household Size
Household Size Maximum Monthly Income
Maximum Annual Income
Family of 1 $1,595 $19,140
Family of 2 $2,155 $25,860
Family of 3 $2,715 $32,580
Family of 4 $3,275 $39,300
Family of 5 $3,835 $46,020
Family of 6 $4,395 $52,740
Family of 7 $4,955 $59,460
Family of 8 $5,515 $66,180
For each additional person in the household with more than 8 people, add:
$6,720

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program - CARES Act

The CARES Act appropriated $1 billion in supplemental FY 2020 CSBG funds. Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the funds are intended to assist low-income households that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy and are affected by COVID-19. Florida's allocation of this funding is $56 million. States must distribute at least 90 percent of their allocation directly to Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and may retain 10 percent for administrative costs.

How to Receive an Application and How to Apply for Assistance

  1. You may apply online through your local LIHEAP provider (see Find Your Local Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Provider For Help) or through the local LIHEAP provider's website. You must apply through the appropriate agency for the county in which you live. Look under your county for the name and phone number of that agency. Check to see if there as an online application that you can complete so that you can submit your application without needing to visit the office location. A PDF application may be made available by the agency for you to begin the application. If an online application is not available, please contact the local office for the preferred method of receiving either PDF or paper applications, along with supporting documentation.
  2. Call your local LIHEAP provider. These agencies employ caseworkers who are knowledgeable about various programs and who specialize in providing guidance and assistance to citizens. Please be aware that the phone number may be busy:
    • All local agencies are receiving a very high call volume with requests for assistance. They are answering and returning calls as quickly as possible.
    • Please be patient and keep trying to contact the local LIHEAP agency.
    • Please be aware that many local agencies take calls only during specific hours of operation.
  3. To manage the high number of requests for assistance, most local LIHEAP agencies require an appointment. You may schedule an appointment with agency staff for assistance with completing the application.
  4. The local agency receives applications, determines your eligibility and makes payments directly to energy companies on your behalf.

Required Documentation to Apply

  • Most recent home energy bill;
  • Final Utility Termination Notice;
  • Proof of income (paycheck stubs or other proof that shows your current gross income);
  • Photo identification of the applicant and other household members or any document that establishes identity will be accepted;
  • Social security cards (or numbers) of all household members; and
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.

How to Appeal If You Have Been Denied Assistance

Contact the local agency provider to find out how to appeal. DEO does not have access to your records and is unable to provide information about your application or status.

Complaint About a Local Agency Provider or a Local Agency Provider Employee

If you have applied and qualified for assistance, but the local provider agency has not paid your bill, you need to contact the local LIHEAP agency to find out why. All complaints must be directed to the supervisor or Executive Director of the local LIHEAP provider.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity does not have authority to respond to any complaints about a local agency provider or to intervene on your behalf. Employees of local agency providers are not employees of DEO; therefore, DEO does not have the authority to reprimand or discipline an employee of a local agency.

Urgent / Life Threatening Emergency Situation (for example, power is disconnected or is about to be disconnected and the resident has a disability or is a senior citizen)

Related Links - Other Programs and Agencies Offering Services

Local Agency Providers Needing Technical Assistance

If you are a local agency provider and need technical assistance, you may contact Florida's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program office at (850) 717-8450.

Looking for Assistance?

Apply online or contact your local provider to apply.

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