The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) assists eligible households with the cost of home heating through direct cash payments or payments to utility companies on their behalf. A crisis component is available for households without resources facing the loss of a heating source. Eligibility for both program components is based on a combination of factors, including income, type of heating payment, and total heating costs.
The Division of Family Assistance (DFA) operates LIEAP in each of the DHHR field offices for a short time each winter, usually beginning with an automated payment or a mail-out to targeted households. In addition, DFA contracts with the Community Action network and with regional Agency on Aging offices to perform outreach and accept LIEAP applications at their local sites.
20% Discount Program
The Special Reduced Residential Service Rate Program (20% Utility Discount Program) was established by statute to assist certain eligible participants in receiving a 20% discount from their electric, gas, and/or water companies. WV American Water (WVAW) is currently the only water company participating in the program.
To be eligible for this rate reduction, one must be a recipient of either SNAP AND be 60 years of age or older, SSI and be 18 years of age or older, or WV WORKS. For gas and electric, one must be a recipient of one of these programs during November, December, January, February, and March to get the discount for that month. The WVAW program runs year-round.
The electric, gas, and/or water companies will be responsible for determining eligibility for the Special Reduced Residential Service Rate.
Through Tel-Assistance/Lifeline, telephone companies offer reduced basic service to eligible low-income elderly and disabled customers. The Division of Family Assistance issues applications to eligible recipients and provides ongoing eligibility information to the telephone companies and informs them when customers are no longer eligible for Tel-Assistance. This is handled centrally by the Division of Family Assistance.
•Tel-Assistance Fact Sheet