13000 Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)


13100 Program Summary

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is federally funded assistance which helps qualifying households pay home energy costs through the issuance of an annual benefit. The benefit is to assist households in the purchase of home heating and cooling energy. In order to be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:


  1. Combined income of all persons living at the address must not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level; 

  2. An adult household member must be personally responsible for purchasing heating fuel costs incurred at the current residence, payable either to the landlord or to the fuel vendor;

  3. The household must demonstrate a recent history of payments toward purchase of energy costs;

  4. The household must meet citizenship or lawful residency requirements; and

  5. The household must meet application requirements.

This section establishes the policies and eligibility criteria according to regulations governed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services.


A separate application is used to determine eligibility due to the requirement for necessary heating and cooling account numbers, fuel type heating systems and other unique information that is not available through existing system data. Completed applications will be accepted during the application period from mid-January through the last working day of March of the given calendar year.

Applications will be mailed to prior year LIEAP recipients. EES staff will provide LIEAP applications to new food assistance, cash, and medical assistance clients through the last working day in March. Applications will also be available through local helping agencies, utilities and via on-line access.


Applications are submitted to the designated DCF Regional LIEAP processing office for eligibility determination.


Eligibility determination and benefit issuance uses a system on-line to EES Administration. Benefits are issued from EES Administration throughout the program. Households experiencing a fuel supply shortage, or an actual disconnect receive expedited processing according to federal requirements.


Due to significant differences in federal program purposes and regulations, households may be eligible for LIEAP but not TANF or Food Assistance or vice versa. For instance, if a TANF mother and her child live with other friends or relatives, the income from all persons is countable in determining LIEAP eligibility while TANF considers only the mother and child's income. In addition, TANF and other persons who live in subsidized housing may not meet the vulnerability requirements if their federally subsidized rental units include the heating energy costs in the rent subsidy.


13110 DCF Regional Office Responsibilities - Regional Directors are responsible for assuring that potential applicants have adequate access to program information. Activities may include:

  1. Providing LIEAP application information to new food assistance, cash and medical cases at intake from January through March;

  2. Providing information and referral services to clients requesting information about applying for LIEAP benefits and/or submission of applications;

  3. Developing processes for the handling of applications submitted to a local DCF office to assure timely submission to the DCF Regional LIEAP processing office.