Hearing assistance program availableThe North Dakota Department of Human Services is reminding low-income individuals and families concerned about winter heating costs that help is available, and they can now apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
The North Dakota Department of Human Services is reminding low-income individuals and families concerned about winter heating costs that help is available, and they can now apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
The federally-funded program pays for part of the heating costs of qualifying households, as well as furnace repairs and weatherization services.
To qualify, people must meet program income and asset criteria. This ensures that help goes to those most in need. To qualify, a household can earn up to 60 percent of the state median income, which for a family of three equals about $37,385 per year. A chart listing income eligibility limits is online at www.nd.gov/dhs/info/pubs/docs/liheap-income-eligibility-limits.pdf.
People can apply at their local county social service office through May 2012. The application is also available online at www.nd.gov/eforms/Doc/sfn00529.pdf and should be completed and returned to the county office.
The department works with county social service offices, the North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Services, and community action agencies to assist low-income households with heating-related needs.
Last year, the state LIHEAP program paid an average of $994 in heating energy costs per participating household during the heating season. The program typically pays fuel vendors, such as utility and fuel oil companies, directly.
Because saving money on heating also involves conservation, Human Services contracts with the North Dakota Department of Commerce for weatherization and furnace repair and replacement services. The direct work is often carried out by community action agencies.
Last heating season, the state LIHEAP program helped about 16,000 North Dakota households. Tribal LIHEAP programs also serve state residents.