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Fuel AssistanceFuel Assistance Staff photoThis Fuel Assistance Program is designed to provide relief to those households that are most vulnerable to high home heating costs.  Massachusetts’ LIHEAP targets assistance to households with the lowest incomes and highest average energy costs. 

 

It is intended to help defray the cost of heat during the winter months, November 1 – April 30 of each year.

 

First Time Applicant?
NEW! Try our on-line appointment scheduling system.

Click Here

 

LIHEAP Automated Information Line: 508.754.7281

  • Check the status of an application already submitted
  • Check payments to your heating vendor
  • Learn how to apply for Fuel Assistance

Contact us 24/7 at LIHEAP@wcac.net with your specific questions.
E-mails received during non-business hours will be responded to during the next business day.

 

IF YOU ARE IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION

No Heat - Shut of notice from utility - Nearly out of fuel

  • Contact our office immediately by phone or in person.  (508.754.1176 follow LIHEAP menu)
  • YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE COMPLETE!
  • We will need a copy of your shut off notice. 

Heating System not working

  • Tenants must contact their landlords
  • Homeowners may be eligible for emergency repair funds through the HEARTWAP program.  Contact the office for more information.

If you are in a no-heat situation outside of our regular business hours, please consider the following:

  • Pay attention to storm-related information through the media. 
  • Sign up for Emergency Notification text messaging in your community or with the State.
  • Individuals with disabilities and special needs can often register in advance in their communities for services during a crisis. 
  • Visit READY MASSACHUESTTS for details about emergency preparedness and resources.  (http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/ready-massachusetts/)
  • During extremely cold weather and storm emergencies, communities provide emergency shelter opportunities. 
  • Using ovens and unsafe space heaters for heat is never recommended.  PLEASE shelter with neighbors, family or friends if possible. 
  • During extreme cold, leave your faucets on a drip or trickle to keep the pipes from freezing.  
  • America Red Cross Provides Disaster relief:  (800) 564-1234 (not for fuel emergencies—but extreme storms, fires etc.)
  • City of Worcester Emergency Program ( http://www.worcesterma.gov/emergency-communications/emergency-management)
For LIHEAP Program/WCAC Storm and Emergency Related Closing Announcements: 
Call 508.754.1176 x 250

 

 

First Time Applicants

  • All first time applications are completed with a face-to-face interview between November 1st and April 30th
  • New applications can be submitted at the Worcester Office Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 8:30 and 3:30 and by appointment at outreach sites in Southbridge, Webster, Spencer and West Warren. 
  • Eligibility is based on the number of individuals who live in a household, their combined income, housing status and fuel type.
  • When you apply, please bring the following information with you:
    • A copy of your current heating bill
    • Identification for all household members including a picture ID for the head of household
    • Current GROSS income from all sources and all household members for the past 30 days (4 consecutive pay stubs if paid weekly or 2 if paid bi-weekly)
    • Children 18 years and over who are students must provide a letter from the school indicating they are a full time student currently enrolled in school
    • If over 18 and claiming no income must sign a no-income statement (provided at office). If you claimed no income for more than a year you must supply a wage statement from the Social Security office
    • Current tenant profile if you have a rental subsidy
    • A copy of your last check or print-out if receiving fixed income (Social Security, Disability, SSI, etc.)
    • Check stub, letter from pension co. or 1099 document received at the end of the year from pensions showing current gross amount.
    • If receiving child support, must provide copies of four current payments or court order with current copy of check or stub. Or, notarized statement from ex-spouse stating amount and frequency of payments
    • Four most recent stubs  workers compensation
    • Unemployment award status
    • Documentation for the source of Interest Income of over $100 or more
    • If self-employed, a signed copy of prior year’s entire tax returns with all attachments. If self-prepared the signature page must be notarized.  A transcript will be requested as well.  
    • If you own a multi-family home:  Rent receipts for your tenants, Property Tax bill, Homeowners insurance, Water/Sewer bill, Mortgage interest statement or current signed copy of entire Federal Tax returns, including Schedule E

Returning Applicants

  • Can re-apply through the mail
  • All income/expense/household information must be verified every year, even if there is no change.
Fuel Assistance Hours:  Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

WHAT IS LIHEAP?  (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
This Fuel Assistance Program is designed to provide relief to those households that are most vulnerable to high home heating costs.  Massachusetts’ LIHEAP targets assistance to households with the lowest incomes and highest average energy costs.  It is intended to help defray the cost of heat during the winter months,November 1 – April 30 of each year.

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FUEL ASSISTANCE?
Homeowners and tenants whose gross yearly household income falls at or below the income guidelines may be eligible.  (Most state and federally subsidized units are NOT eligible, but check with WCAC to be sure.)

 

DO I GET A DISCOUNT ON MY HEATING BILL?
If you are eligible for LIHEAP and fall within the income categories used by the utility companies, you may be eligible for a discount with them also. 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Discounts are not offered by delivered fuel companies ( oil, propane, wood, pellets). Discounts are also not available for customers with municipal-owned utility companies.

 

SHOULD I PAY ANYTHING ON MY HEATING BILL IF I AM ELIGIBLE FOR FUEL ASSISTANCE?
Absolutely.  Always make a payment when you can.  The LIHEAP benefit is meant to HELP with your heating needs, NOT to pay the entire bill. 

 

WHAT IS THE CONSUMPTION BENEFIT?
Households with very high heating needs may be eligible for an additional heating benefit

 

CITIES/TOWNS SERVED: Worcester, Auburn, Boylston, West Boylston, Brookfield, East Brookfield, West Brookfield, North Brookfield, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Warren.

If you do not live in one of these towns, please click this link to see which agency to contact: 
http://www.mass.gov/hed/community/energy/low-income-home-energy-assistance-liheap.html

 

INCOME GUIDELINES
Click here to download.

 

HOW WILL I KNOW IF I AM ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS?
Once you are determined eligible for fuel assistance, you and your fuel provider will be mailed notification of your benefit level.  You may also call the automated phone system at (508) 754-7281 to get the status of your application.  You will need to know your social security number to access information concerning your application. The automated phone service is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is designed to tell you the amount of your benefit, and list the payments made to your heating account.

 

Please Note: Fuel assistance can only pay for the cost of the heat you actually use for the winter months. If the cost of heating your home is less than your benefit amount, we can only pay that amount. Unused benefit amounts are returned to the funding source.

 

 

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