Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps pay the heating or cooling bills of low-income families or individuals. Roughly 8.9 million low-income families received LIHEAP assistance in 2011. Households are eligible if their incomes are below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or below 60 percent of state median income. The 2011 National Energy Assistance Survey (NEA) found that nearly 40% of LIHEAP households had at least one member aged 60 or older; 72 percent of households had at least one member with a serious medical condition; 41% percent had at least one child aged 18 or younger. 45% reported that their energy bills were more than $2000 that year. While, mean heating benefits were reduced to $429 in FY 2011, compared to $483 in FY 2009.
Unfortunately, funding for LIHEAP has been cut in recent years. It went from $5.1 billion in FY 2009 and 2010 to less than $3.5 billion in FY2013.
For more information on this issue, visit CHN’s Public Policy Priorities, 2015-2016.
- January 10, 2014National Women's Law Center: To Heat or Eat?
Policy Analyses and Research
- June 1, 2010Children's HealthWatch: Healthy Families in Hard Times: Solutions for Multiple Family Hardships