LIHEAP is Here to Help with your Heat Costs
The Massachusetts’ home energy assistance program (LIHEAP) is a free resource, offered by Community Teamwork in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development, to help eligible households pay a portion of winter heating bills. You’ve reached the right place to apply and get the process started!
No matter what type of heating source you have, LIHEAP may be able to help you pay your winter heating bills. All Massachusetts residents are encouraged to explore eligibility for this free program and apply for assistance.
LIHEAP Facts and Resources
- The LIHEAP application is FREE! No fee is required to apply and we offer free help to complete applications. Beware of scams charging an “application fee” to help submit an application.
- Even if heat is included in the cost of rent, you may still be eligible for home energy assistance.
- LIHEAP provides assistance for all sources of heat, including oil, electricity, natural gas, propane, kerosene, wood and coal.
- Upon approval, payments are made directly to your heating company.
- You can also check income eligibility and benefit levels. Please note that benefit levels are dependent on funding allocated to Massachusetts by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Housing subsidies will also determine specific benefit levels.
What is LIHEAP and how can LIHEAP help me?
LIHEAP is a federal program that helps qualified households within a certain income threshold pay a portion of their winter home heating bills. In Massachusetts, LIHEAP eligible households may also get help with weatherizing their homes.
Does LIHEAP help pay for water and sewer bills?
While LIHEAP funds can only be used to help you pay to heat your home, by submitting an application you also apply for three additional programs: the federally funded household water assistance program (LIHWAP), which helps eligible households pay a portion of their overdue water and sewer bills, the Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Read more about LIHWAP, HEARTWAP, and WAP.
Will LIHEAP pay for my heating bill for the entire winter season?
LIHEAP is not designed to pay for all of your home energy costs for the year, but rather to reduce the burden of heating costs from your main heating source on your budget. However, many investor-owned utility companies (gas and electric) offer a discount rate, which reduces a certain percentage off your monthly bills just for being qualified for LIHEAP.
How are benefit levels determined?
Generally, benefits levels are determined based on home energy costs, taking into account household size and income, as well as other factors.
If I rent or live in subsidized or public housing, can I receive help from LIHEAP?
Renters are eligible for LIHEAP assistance. Many renters pay for their energy costs directly, while others pay these costs indirectly, through their rent. In either case, you may be eligible for LIHEAP if you otherwise meet the program qualifications.
You said I don’t qualify for LIHEAP. I think you made a mistake. What can I do?
You have the right to appeal any decision made by us. The appeal process is outlined in the denial notice that you received. If you didn’t receive a denial notice or cannot find the notice that explains the appeals process, contact our office for further information 978-459-6161 or FuelAssistance@commteam.org. We will explain the appeals process to you.
Your family may also qualify for discounts on monthly utility bills, a no-cost home energy assessment, free appliance replacement, and other energy-saving improvements for your home, all at no cost to you.
Fuel Assistance and Home Energy Assessment Program (HEAP) Brochures
For additional Heating Help Application Information, please click here.
Households received Fuel Assistance
Households' power was restored after disconnection
Households avoided a utility shut-off
Eligible Applicant Information
Eligibility for home energy assistance is based on several factors, including but not limited to household size and combined gross annual income of household members. Household income cannot exceed 60% of Massachusetts’ estimated State Median Income (for example in 2023, $55,461 for a family of 2 and $81,561 for a family of 4). To learn if you are eligible, apply here.
A Massachusetts family of four earning up to $81,561 may qualify. Taking applications has been extended through to 5/12/23
With the extension of the winter shut-off moratorium to april 1, 2023 by the department of public utilities – EOHLC has extended the liheap (fuel assistance) application period from april 28th to may 12th.
EOHLC has increased the benefits amount utilizing all remaining LIHEAP client benefit funds. The vendors of applicants will be notified.
Additionally, all eligible LIHEAP applicants who pay for their heat may receive secondary source payments for utilities (electricity/natural gas) with usage that occurred between November 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Secondary payments cannot be made for eligible applicants whose heat is included in their rent. Secondary payments can be only initiated after an agency makes every effort to make payments on the primary heat account first.
EOHLC has extended the LIHEAP (Fuel Assistance) application period from April 28th to May 12th. The heating season remains November 1st through April 30th. Applications may be updated with any changes to household size or income through May 12th.
With the extension of the application deadline, other program-related deadlines are extended as follows:
- Last day to complete incomplete applications – June 12th
- Local appeal deadline – July 10th
- Primary payments should be made by the end of July
- Deadline to issue local appeal decisions – August 7th
- State appeal deadline – September 11th
- Deadline to issue State Appeal decisions – October
LIHEAP, also known as Fuel Assistance, helps eligible households challenged by the high cost of home heating fuel pay a portion of their winter heating bills. Homeowners and renters, including households whose cost of heat is included in the rent, can apply for LIHEAP. Eligibility is based on their household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age and older. Household income cannot exceed 60% of estimated State Median Income.
Community Teamwork’s Fuel Assistance Program serves the following cities and towns: Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Lexington, Lowell, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, Waltham, Watertown, Westford and Wilmington.
- Homeowners and renters are eligible
- Most who get fuel assistance also qualify for other energy assistance programs
- You may use any type of heating fuel (oil, electricity, natural gas, propane, etc.)
2022-2023 LIHEAP Income Eligibility Chart
|Family Size||60% of Estimated State Median Income|
Please contact our office for families with more than 6 members.
How to Apply
You can begin the application process here or set up an appointment to visit us in person at 45 Kirk Street, Lowell, MA. If you need help completing the application, we are happy to provide free assistance.
As part of the application process, please be prepared to share necessary information, including but not limited to photo identification, a list of all household members, proof of income, information on your heating bills, and your housing situation.
Online: New & Returning applicants
We are now offering an online portal (starting 10/1/22) for new and returning applicants to complete a Fuel Assistance application. Please do not use the portal if you have already sent in your beige application for the current fuel season.
You can start your online application by clicking toapply.org/CTI
Telephone interview: New applicants only
First-time applicants that do not want to apply online can schedule an interview/appointment to have a representative call you and start your application over the telephone.
Schedule a telephone interview by calling 978.459.6161 today to make an appointment and to learn more!
Applications can also be emailed to FuelAssistance@commteam.org, faxed to 978.458.8594 or mailed/dropped in a specially marked mailbox outside the Community Teamwork Fuel Assistance office 45 Kirk Street, Lowell MA 01852.
Returning applicants must apply each year; applications are mailed to households after the first year. If you did not receive your application or you have moved please call or email the office with your updated information. An application will be mailed to you.
Fuel Assistance Benefits:
Fuel assistance payments for actual usage or fuel delivery are made directly to the heating vendor for primary energy needs from November to April except when cost of heating is included in the rent.
Discounted rates on gas and electric bills.
HEARTWAP provides emergency heating system repair and replacement services to eligible, income qualified households.
WAP provides eligible, income qualified households with home energy conservation services.
More About This Program: