Winter’s chill is in full swing, prompting Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) to encourage residents to seize the opportunity provided by the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). In the face of dropping temperatures, securing financial relief for utility costs becomes a crucial aspect of winter preparedness.
ABCD, the esteemed multi-service anti-poverty agency, discloses that Massachusetts has received a substantial $130 million from the federal government dedicated exclusively to the LIHEAP heating assistance. This financial lifeline aims to support residents grappling with the burden of heating bills during the winter months. Eligible individuals under LIHEAP may qualify for assistance of up to $1,500, a significant aid that can alleviate the strain on household budgets until April.
Income Levels and Eligibility Criteria For LIHEAP in Massachusetts
Sharon Scott-Chandler, the CEO of ABCD, highlights that the amount of fuel assistance hinges on an individual’s income level and household size. Prospective applicants can seek relief if their income falls within 60 percent of the median income in Massachusetts. However, Scott-Chandler stresses the importance of checking eligibility, dispelling the misconception that ineligibility for SNAP benefits equates to ineligibility for fuel assistance.
Beyond this, you can access a range of additional free services. While the assistance extends to residents of Boston, Brookline, Newton, and the Mystic Valley cities and towns (Malden, Medford, Everett, Melrose, Stoneham, Winchester, Woburn), it’s crucial to note that the Fuel Assistance season runs from November 1st to April 30th. ABCD adheres to federal LIHEAP guidelines, considering your annual income and family size.
Homeowners and renters, even those in non-subsidized housing with heat included in rent, are eligible, provided their gross family income is at or below 60% of the Massachusetts median income.
The ABCD Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as Fuel Assistance, is currently accepting applications to help with heating bills. Applications can be submitted online, over the telephone, or in person by appointment at a local ABCD intake site. If you’ve received a recertification application by mail, renewal can be done by returning the signed application and current income documents using the provided postage-paid envelope or through the online portal. The application deadline is April 30, 2024.
You Could Get Your Heating System Repaired or Replaced Too
To stay warm and cut costs, ensure your heating system operates at peak efficiency – all at no cost to you. If you’re in Boston, Brookline, Newton, or one of the Mystic Valley cities and towns and receive ABCD Fuel Assistance services, you qualify for the Heating System Repair and Replacement program (HEARTWAP). Services are accessible to households at or below 60% of the Massachusetts median income, following federal guidelines based on your annual income and household size.
ABCD’s Heating System Repairs and Replacement program offers repairs, tune-ups, and the installation of a new furnace or boiler if yours is inoperable or inefficient. Emergency, no-heat situations for income-eligible households are also covered. All these services come at no cost, underscoring their commitment to ensuring you have a heating system that not only keeps you warm but also safe.