DES MOINES, Iowa – As winter approaches, MidAmerican Energy Company is reminding customers that applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are being accepted now in Iowa for the elderly and disabled. All other qualified individuals can begin applying November 1st.
LIHEAP is a federally funded energy assistance program designed to help low-income families who are having trouble paying their heating bills. Last year, approximately 36,000 households in Iowa received benefits from LIHEAP. The average payment was $440 per household.
“Winters in the Midwest are always unpredictable, and wondering if you can keep up with your energy bills doesn’t help,” said Kathryn Kunert, vice president of economic connections and integration for MidAmerican Energy. “If any customers worry about challenges paying their bills this winter, we encourage them to apply for LIHEAP or get in touch with us to learn about our payment options. We want to make sure every customer who has questions about their energy bills and costs going into winter contacts us to get the answers and help they need.”
LIHEAP funds are received in the form of a grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Community action agencies in Iowa review applications and administer the funds. Grants are determined based on household income, household size, type of primary heating fuel, type of housing and other factors to ensure households with the greatest need receive the highest level of assistance.
To be eligible, the total household income for an applicant in Iowa must be at or below 175% of the 2017 federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single-person household can qualify with an annual gross income of $21,105 and a family of four can qualify with an annual gross income of $43,050.
Customers are encouraged to sign up early for LIHEAP to ensure they receive the assistance they need. LIHEAP application forms are available at any community action agency. For more information click HERE.