By: Follow South Jersey Staff
SOUTH JERSEY — Applications are now available for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as well as other utility assistance programs to help with utility bills according to the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
“We understand that there is still a need for utility assistance and DCA is here to help,” Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez said in a press release from the department. “Programs like LIHEAP make certain that those in need get the assistance they require.”
According to the press release, “LIHEAP is one of several programs DCA provides to help New Jersey households in need with basic resources such as housing and heating to promote long-term physical well-being. These programs include LIHEAP, which is a federal program that helps households at or below 60 percent of the state median income ($7,069 a month for a family of four) pay for energy costs (electric, gas, deliverable fuels, and those included in rent), and the Universal Service Fund (USF) program, which provides a monthly credit on electric and gas bills for households at or below 60 percent of the state median income ($84,830 a year for a family of four). To qualify for USF, the household must pay more than 2 percent of its annual income for electric or for natural gas. If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than 4% of its annual income on electricity to be eligible.”
To submit an application for LIHEAP or other assistance programs, households can visit the DCAid portal at www.nj.gov/dca/dcaid. The DCAid portal has a tool for residents to check what other benefits they may qualify for. Residents who do not have access to computers or the internet can call 1-800-510-3102 to be directed to one of the community action agencies partnering with DCA to assist them with starting, completing, and submitting an application online. A list of the community organizations providing such assistance is available at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/agencydirectorylist.html on the DCA website.
The NJDCA encourages households to apply now because LIHEAP applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and assistance is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
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