In the depths of winter, the last thing seniors should be worrying about is whether they can pay their heating bills, though this is an unfortunately reality for many. But thanks to new federal funding, more Rhode Island seniors will be able to get financial assistance with their home heating costs.
State Senator Jack Reed recently announced that Rhode Island would benefit from $22.5 million for low-income heating assistance funds, part of $3 billion funding nationwide.
Seniors can access this funding through the Rhode Island Low Income Home Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Eligibility is determined based on the applicant having an annual household income (before taxes) that is below 60 percent of the state median income. For a 1-person household, the maximum annual income level is $28,533; for a 2-person household the maximum is $37,312.
According to the LIHEAP website, “a
A few other points about how LIHEAP works:
- assistance is available to renters or homeowners
- assistance takes the form of a grant (doesn’t need to be repaid)
- payments are sent directly to the utility company or fuel provider, and show up as a credit on your bill
Last year, the program helped about 35,000 Rhode Island residents with their heating bills. Senator Ryan encouraged interested individuals to apply (through one of the community agencies listed here) as soon as possible.