In commemoration of National Energy Assistance Day Feb.1, North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) is encouraging North Dakotans who are struggling to pay for heating costs to explore options for assistance and services through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Every year, HHS accepts LIHEAP applications from Oct. 1 through May 1 for heating assistance, weatherization, and other related services for the winter season. The program provides financial relief and support to ensure families can live safely in their homes and sustain financial stability. Both homeowners and renters can apply for the LIHEAP.
“As we continue through the winter season, HHS wants North Dakotans to know that assistance and services are available to keep households safe and warm,” said HHS Economic Assistance Director Michele Gee. “Households experiencing difficulties with heating costs are encouraged to apply for LIHEAP.”
The amount of LIHEAP heating assistance varies based on household income, heat source, and other factors. Deductions for allowable expenses such as child care, child support and medical expenses are used when determining the total household income.
So far this winter, 12,500 qualifying North Dakota households received an average monthly payment of $270 for heating assistance.
Additionally, households eligible for the LIHEAP can receive weatherization services, which include home insulation and weather stripping around doors and windows; furnace cleaning, repair or replacement; and chimney inspection and cleaning.
Emergency assistance is also available to help during unexpected financial hardships, offering financial support for furnace replacements, preventing shutoffs and disconnects, and helping households with the costs of temporary heating or cooling devices. Households should not wait for an emergency to apply for LIHEAP.
“We find that many households are not aware that they qualify for assistance or services through the LIHEAP,” said Gee. “Resources are available to help households across the state, and we hope to reach every person that could benefit from help with their heating costs.”
More information about LIHEAP, including eligibility requirements, can be found at hhs.nd.gov/liheap.
Individuals who need help applying for LIHEAP should contact Community Options. As a partner agency of HHS, Community Options provides free application assistance, which includes helping with the collection of necessary documents, and filling out and submitting the application. To request LIHEAP application assistance, individuals can contact Community Options toll-free at (800) 823-2417, 711 (TTY).