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Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)
October 1, 2012 - April 30, 2013
  1. What is the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)?
  2. Who can get help from LIEAP?
  3. How do I find out who my Energy Assistance eligibility office is?
  4. How do LIEAP and the Weatherization Program work?
  5. How much will LIEAP or the Weatherization Program pay?
  6. How do I get an application?
  7. What is the application like?
  8. What else do I have to provide to apply for LIEAP or Weatherization Assistance?
  9. Can I apply for LIEAP if I am behind on my heat payments or my heat has already been shut off?
  10. Do I have to go in person to apply?
  11. How soon will I be able to get on the program?
  12. Once I have applied for LIEAP, can I stop paying my heating bill?
  13. Is there a waiting list for LIEAP or Weatherization Assistance?
  14. What do I have to do to stay on the program?
  15. Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to get help from LIEAP?
  16. To get help from the LIEAP, does it matter how long I have lived in Montana?
  17. What are the income limits for LIEAP?
  18. What is a resource? What resources does LIEAP consider, and what are the resource limits?
  19. What is the Weatherization Assistance Program?
  20. What will happen if my heat gets shut off?

1. What is the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)?
The State of Montana, through the Department of Public Health and Human Services, offers two programs aimed at helping Montanans reduce their heating costs.  The Weatherization Program helps participants to improve the heating efficiency of their homes and thus reduce their energy consumption.  The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) pays part of winter energy bills for eligible people. 

2. Who can get help from LIEAP?
Energy Assistance is available to many households with lower incomes, including homeowners and renters.

If your household receives benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, you may qualify automatically for weatherization or fuel assistance.

3. How do I find out who my Energy Assistance eligibility office is?
There is an Energy Assistance eligibility office that serves every county [and each reservation community independently] in Montana. To find the Energy Assistance eligibility office for your county, click here or call the Montana Citizen's Advocate toll-free at 1-800-332-2272.

4. How do LIEAP and the Weatherization Program work?
Weatherization Assistance: approved applications are ranked according to degree of need and placed in "priority groups."  Special priority is given to older adults and disabled individuals.  An energy auditor will set up a time to visit with you about your home's needs for weatherization materials.  The auditor utilizes a computer program to determine the most cost-effective weatherization measures for your home--which may include a furnace tune-up, caulking, education, insulation, weather-stripping, storm windows, or repair of exterior doors.  When you are determined eligible for LIEAP, a payment will be generated to your fuel vendor. The payment is calculated to cover a portion of your winter energy costs. You are responsible to pay that portion of your energy costs not covered by LIEAP.

5. How much will LIEAP or the Weatherization Program pay?
The Weatherization Program will provide materials and in some instances a crew or independent contractor to complete the necessary work to your home.  For those who qualify for fuel bill assistance, the payment amount is figured according to your household income, size and type of your home, and the kind and cost of fuel.  Most often payments are made directly to your utility company or fuel supplier.

6. How do I get an application?
The application is called the “Low-Income Energy Assistance and Weatherization Program Application."  Applications are available at various energy assistance eligibility offices throughout the state--including Human Resource Development Councils (HRDCs), the North Central Area Agency on Aging, and Tribal Energy Assistance Offices for tribal members living on reservations.  You may pick one up from your energy assistance eligibility office or have it mailed to you. You can also access the application on the Montana Department of Health and Human Services website by clicking here during the heating season (October 1 through April 30).   However, applications are NOT accepted from June 1 to September 30. In addition, a new application is issued each year and it is not available until September of that year.

7. What is the application like?
The application is 8 pages long, including directions. It asks about who lives with you, your sources of income, and who provides your heat and electricity. You can fill out the application yourself or you can get help from your energy assistance eligibility office. When it is complete, turn it in to your energy assistance eligibility office.

8. What else do I have to provide to apply for LIEAP or Weatherization Assistance?
For all the adults who live in your home, you will have to provide proof of all income for the time period specified on the application (such as copies of check stubs, your 1040 federal tax form, or proof of other income including Social Security, unemployment, insurance, pension funds, disability payments, etc.). You will also have to send a copy of your most recent heating bill and electric bill. Be sure to sign and date your application and include all the required information or your application will not be accepted.

9. Can I apply for LIEAP if I am behind on my heat payments or my heat has already been shut off?
You must have an active open account to receive LIEAP. If you are behind on your payments, be sure to tell your energy assistance eligibility office when you apply.

10. Do I have to go in person to apply?
No. There is no interview required for the Energy Assistance Program. But you can go to your energy assistance eligibility office in person if you need help filling out the application.

11. How soon will I be able to get on the program?
It depends how soon your energy assistance eligibility office can process your application. Remember, applications are accepted October 1 through April 30. 

12. Once I have applied for LIEAP, can I stop paying my heating bill?
No. You have to keep paying your heating bill. If it is too much for you to pay, call your heating company and arrange a payment plan that you can pay. Otherwise you may have your heat turned off. Even once you get help from LIEAP, you still have to pay your part of the heating bill. LIEAP only pays part of your bill.

13. Is there a waiting list for LIEAP or Weatherization Assistance?
There is no waiting list for LIEAP but there is for weatherization. LIEAP households with the highest energy burdens receive priority for weatherization.

14. What do I have to do to stay on the program?
Once you have been accepted for Energy Assistance, you will get help for the heating season if accepted for LIEAP. In the fall, you will have to reapply again if you want to get help from the Energy Assistance Program.

15. Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to get help from LIEAP?
You do not have to be a US Citizen; however, you do have to be lawfully admitted to the US.  Proof is required if lawful admittance is questionable.Verification of Social Security numbers is required.

16. To get help from the LIEAP, does it matter how long I have lived in Montana?
No.  You will be asked on the application how long you have lived in Montana, and if you lived in the state for less than one year, what date you moved to Montana. 

17. What are the income limits for LIEAP?
To be eligible for LIEAP, you must make no more than 60 percent of estimated state median income for 2016-2017 if your household consists of seven or fewer, or 150 percent of the 2016-2017 federal poverty level for households with more than seven members. See the Table below:

2016-2017 Program Year

LIEAP & Weatherization Income Limits

Household Size (Children and Adults)
Household Income
Family of 1
$21,441
Family of 1
$23,760
Family of 2
$32,040
Family of 3
$40,320
Family of 4
$48,600
Family of 5
$56,880
Family of 6
$65,160
Family of 7
$73,460
Family of 8
$81,780
Resource limits also apply, see the following FAQ.

18. What is a resource? What resources does LIEAP consider, and what are the resource limits?
A resource is money you have to fall back on, or other items of value that you own. LIEAP excludes the value of your primary home and the land it is on, in addition to vehicles when determining eligibility. Some resources LIEAP uses to determine eligibility include cash, checking and savings accounts, Stock/Bonds and equity value of property that is not your main residence. For more information contact a LIEAP representative. The resource limits vary by family size, see chart below:

2016-2017 Program Year

LIEAP & Weatherization Resource Limits

Household Size(Children and Adults)
Resource Limit
Family of 1
$10,931
Family of 2
$16,400
Family of 3
$17,494
Family of 4
$18,588
Family of 5
$19,682
Family of 6
$20,776
Family of 7
$21,870
Family of 8
$21,870
If you own a business, the equity value of your business assets must not exceed $25,000 in order to be eligible for LIEAP.

19. What is the Weatherization Assistance Program?
Weatherization Assistance is a program that pays for improvements to your home to keep more heat in. By making these improvements (such as adding attic insulation, caulking or weather stripping), it will cost less to heat your home. Anyone who can get Energy Assistance can also get help with Weatherization assistance (including renters and homeowners). The application for Energy Assistance in Montana covers both Low Income Energy Assistance and the Weatherization Program.

20. What will happen if my heat gets shut off?
If your heat gets shut off, it will cost more money (a reconnection fee) to have it turned back on. Your energy company may also require an additional deposit before they will turn on the heat.