What is Energy Assistance?
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) can help you pay your heat and electric bills! EAP is a federally-funded program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) called the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Energy assistance is a one-time benefit that can assist you with with the high cost of home energy and can help if you are about to get disconnected. However, an EAP benefit won’t cover all of your heating and electrics costs, so you should continue to pay your bills regularly. You may even qualify for an additional benefit if your utility bills are on time.
How Do I Apply for EAP?
To apply for EAP, in Crawford, Perry & Spencer County, contact LHDC at 1-800-467-1435, ext. 275. If you live in another county click here to find a listing of local service providers in your county. You may also now apply online by clicking here. If you are about to be disconnected or are already disconnected, you are advised to contact LHDC immediately for an appointment rather than applying online.
What are the income limits and eligibility requirements?
Households may be eligible if their gross income is below the EAP Income Guidelines. Income for past three (3) months must be verified and determined for all household members.
Below are the minimum requirements to apply for EAP.
- A completed and signed application.
- Proof of income for the past 3 months for all household members age 18 and over except full time students. Please provide proof of enrollment in school (report card, student schedule, letter from school, etc) for students over 18 who have income.
- Proof of any benefits you may have such as Social Security, SSI or Disability.
- If you have had ZERO income for the past three months, please fill out the Zero Income Affidavit as well as a DWD Work One form.
- For the applicant only, a copy of a state or federally issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, military ID, or passport.
- For each household member age one and over, a valid social security number. To prove that you have a social security number, you will need to provide a copy of your Social Security Card, a REAL ID or US Passport. If there are household members who do not have a valid social security number, the household may still be eligible for EAP benefits. Anyone in this situation should contact the local service provider.
- A copy of your most recent utility bill for both heat and electric. EAP benefits will be paid to utility vendors directly.
- If you have utilities in rent, you must provide a current lease or Landlord Affidavit signed by your landlord, stating that the utilities are in the Landlord’s name.
- To qualify for a homeowner’s benefit, you must provide proof of homeownership.
There may be other documents required. If you are unsure, please contact LHDC by email or call 1-800-467-1435, ext. 275. Once your application is complete and you have gathered the required documents, please send them to LHDC at the address below.
Lincoln Hills Development Corporation
P.O. Box 336
Tell City, IN 47586
What should I do if I am about to be disconnected?
If you are in disconnect, please do not mail your application! A mail-in application may take too long to process to prevent being disconnected! Please call and make an appointment with LHDC 1-800-467-1435, ext. 275.
What other kinds of Utility Assistance is available?
The EAP program may not be able to cover all of your utility bill or you may not be eligible in certain circumstances. Other resources for utility assistance are:
Connect2Help: Dial 2-1-1.
When Can I apply for EAP?
You can apply for a heating benefit anytime between October 1, 2019 and mid-May 2020.
October 1, 2019
Applications begin to be accepted at Local Service Providers.
November 1, 2019
The 2019 Energy Assistance Program benefit begin to be transferred to utility vendors.
December 1, 2019
Start of Moratorium protection. Clients with active service who have applied for EAP are protected from disconnection until March 15, 2018.
March 15, 2020
End of Moratorium protection.
May 15, 2020
End of the EAP heating season. Last day for households to apply.
How long will it take before I get my benefit?
Local Service Agencies may take 60 days to determine if you are eligible, and it may take an additional 30 days for the utility company to process your benefit. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PAY YOUR UTILITY BILLS while waiting for your EAP benefit to appear on your account.
Your Appeal Rights and Right to Timely Processing of Your Energy Assistance Program Application
You have the right to request an appeal if your Energy Assistance Program (EAP) application is not acted upon in a timely manner once it has been received by the Local Service Provider (LSP) administering EAP in your area. In order to request an appeal for an EAP application not acted upon in a timely manner, please submit a written request for a review of your case along with all relevant facts to your LSP.
You will receive an official written response to your appeal within ten (10) business days of receipt. The written response will include instructions for a second appeal if you are not satisfied with the response.
Please note that an LSP has 10 days to determine eligibility of an EAP application when an in-person appointment takes place, and 55 days to determine eligibility of an EAP application when the application is delivered by other means, including but not limited to drop-off, mail, fax, e-mail, an electronic portal, or by proxy. When a heating crisis situation exists (defined as when a utility disconnection notice has been received, utility has already been disconnected, propane or fuel oil at or below 25% of a tank, or within 10 days of running out of other bulk deliverable fuel), LSPs must provide a mitigating action within 48 hours. In cases where a life-threatening crisis situation exists (defined as when a utility is already disconnected or bulk fuel heating source is already disconnected and there is a documented medical need in the household with an extreme safety concern), LSPs must provide a mitigating action within 18 hours. A mitigating action may or may not necessarily include determining eligibility of an EAP application within this time frame.
Please also note that the program officially opens, and the timeline for application approval begins, on November 1. Therefore, even if you submitted your application early, an LSP has until 55 days from November 1 to determine eligibility on an application if there is no crisis situation present. All other processing timelines will begin no earlier than November 1.
If an EAP application is denied for any reason, you have a right to submit another application, with updated supporting documentation, 55 days after your previous application submission.
How can I appeal if I was denied or if I believe my benefit amount is incorrect?
If you feel you have been wrongly denied, or that your benefit amount was calculated incorrectly you may file an appeal.
You must send your appeal to LHDC or your Local Service Provider within ten (10) business days of receipt of the denial. This will be who sent you the denial. LHDC or your Local Service Agency will review your appeal and send you a written response within ten (10) business days.
If you are not satisfied with the LHDC or your Local Service Provider’s determination, you may request formal review by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). You can work with your LHDC or your Local Service Provider to have them submit the appeal for you or you can submit it directly to IHCDA. This request must be made within ten (10) business days of receipt of the LSP’s appeal determination. IHCDA’s Community Program Manager will review your appeal and issue a response in writing within ten (10) business days of receipt. If you needs assistance with this procedure, please email IHCDA at email@example.com or call 317 232 7777. Please send your formal appeal to:
Attn: Community Programs Manager, EAP
30 South Meridian St, Suite 900
Indianapolis, IN 46204.
What is Moratorium?
The Moratorium law (Indiana Code 8-1-2-121) states that from December 1 through March 15 of any year, a regulated utility company may not turn off residential utility service to any customer who is eligible for and who has applied for the Energy Assistance Program. This includes utilities that are electric or gas, including a municipally owned, privately owned, or cooperatively owned utility.
What is the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)?
Households completing the EAP application are eligible for weatherization. Just check the box on the application to indicate that you are interested in weatherization. Not all homes who are eligible get weatherization assistance due to wait lists. Once a household fills out an EAP application, no additional application is necessary. For more information on weatherization, click here.
The State of Indiana manages EAP policy and operations. Public comment is welcome. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.