The Department for Children and Families (DCF) announced the release of $12 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding for households that heat with fuel oil, propane, kerosene, coal, electricity, and natural gas. This funding helps keep thousands of Vermonters warm during the winter months.
The benefit was sent directly to certified fuel dealers on behalf of approximately 13,000 households, and the average benefit was $933 per household. Individual notices of benefit amounts are being mailed to program participants. Earlier this year, 1,897 households that heat with wood and pellets were issued benefits.
This year’s fuel price is expected to average about $4.25 per gallon, a 56-cent per gallon reduction over last year’s average price. The LIHEAP benefit is used to help supplement heating budgets, and the Department encourages any Vermonter who believes they may be eligible for the benefit to apply.
Households may be eligible for Seasonal Fuel Assistance if their gross household incomes are equal to or less than 185% of the federal poverty level. For example, a family of four with a gross monthly income of up to $4,625 may qualify for the benefit.
Households may be eligible for Crisis Fuel Assistance if their gross household incomes are equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level and they are experiencing a heating crisis (e.g., out of fuel and have no money to buy more). For example, a family of four with a gross monthly income of up to $5,000 may qualify for the benefit.