Around 12,000 households in Eastern Iowa will be issued a one-time additional benefit payment in September for those who applied for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, last season. This is across the following counties Benton, Dubuque, Delaware, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Washington.

Payments range from $150 to $315 per household, based on household income and will be paid directly to the applicant’s utility company. This additional benefit is related to special funding for the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no guarantee that a similar additional benefit will be available moving forward. The current season for Energy Assistance ended on April 30th of this year. Elderly or disabled individuals can apply starting October 1st and everyone else can apply beginning November 1st.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program assists low-income people and families with their heating and cooling bills. This program is a year-long, but you must apply to be qualified. Some individuals are automatically qualified for LIHEAP assistance if they participate in the SNAP food stamps program, TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or the SSI program through Social Security.

LIHEAP is designed to help disabled, elderly, or low-income families meet the partial cost of home heating through a one-time payment made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor. In addition, Iowa law protects qualified applicants who are the head of a household from being disconnected from natural gas or electric service during the annual winter moratorium, normally November 1st through April 1st. Anyone seeking LIHEAP financial assistance should contact their local community action agency to discuss eligibility guidelines.

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