Fuel Assistance (2017/2018 heating season)

Dec 31 2017
Published by under Community Resources

Did you know you can get fuel assistance even if your heat is included in your rent?

You can apply for fuel assistance from November 1st to April 30th.

Franklin & Hampshire Counties: visit Community Action! at http://www.communityaction.us/fuel-assistance.html or call (413) 774-2310

Hampden County (except Springfield): visit Valley Opportunity Council at https://www.valleyopp.com/energy-assistance/fuel-assistance or call (413) 552-1548

Springfield: visit New England Farmworker’s Council at http://www.partnersforcommunity.org/default/index.cfm/fuel-assistance/

Not sure which agency covers your city or town? Call the state “Heatline” at (800) 632-8175 or visit this website: https://hedfuel.azurewebsites.net/ and select your town from the pull-down menu at the top of the page.

If you had fuel assistance last year but didn’t receive a renewal application in the mail, call your local agency,  make sure they have your current address, and ask if they can resend your paperwork. If you are a first-time applicant, go here to locate your fuel assistance agency and start the application process: https://liheappub.octopi.org/LiheapPublic1/ScheduleAppointment.aspx

In order to qualify. you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below 60 percent of the State Median Income:

Household Size Maximum Income
1 $34,001
2 $44,463
3 $54,925
4 $65,387
5 $75,849
6 $86,311
7 $88,272
8 $90,234

Households that include non-citizens may still be eligible for fuel assistance benefits if the non-citizens are “Qualified Aliens” or if at least one member of the household is a United States citizen (which may include a child born in the US). Green cards (INS Form I-551) are one of the documents that establish “Qualified Alien” status for a member of the household.

Once you qualify for fuel assistance (or if you already qualify for any of several other programs that do means-testing), you may also be eligible for discounts (usually 25-35%) on gas or electricity for the next twelve months. Call the customer service number on your bill or visit your utility company’s website for more information. Not every utility company offers these discounts, though. For example, Holyoke Gas & Electric’s regular rates are already lower than Eversource and National Grid’s low-income discount rates. But if you have a Verizon landline, Verizon offers low-income discounts thru the “life line” program and there may be other discounts or assistance you’re eligible for from other programs once you qualify for fuel assistance.

The applications can be a pain to get thru, but it’s really worth it – if you qualify it’s like you got paid $100/hour (or more) to fill out all the paperwork! You could get hundreds of dollars in fuel assistance this winter and save hundreds more on your gas or electric bill for the next year.

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