FOR IMMDEIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 26, 2018

Application Period for Households to Apply for Funding to Help Offset Cost of Winter Heating Bills Ends April 30th 

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced applications are still being accepted for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for residents across the state. The federally-funded program assists low-income households with their heating bills and provides emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance. Program funding is administered through the DCA Division of Housing and Community Resources.

“When confronted with the choice between keeping a home warm and other necessities such as food, housing, and medication, New Jerseyans should know there is help available,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, DCA Commissioner. “We encourage all eligible residents who need help heating their home to apply for LIHEAP benefits. We stand ready to assist as many households as we can.”

The LIHEAP application period, which began on October 1, 2017, will end April 30, 2018.

To be eligible for LIHEAP assistance, households must be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent, and have a gross income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Persons who live in public housing and/or receive rental assistance are not eligible unless they are responsible for their own heating/cooling costs paid directly to the fuel supplier. The amount of the LIHEAP heating benefit is determined by income, household size, fuel type, and heating region.

Households that qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly food stamps – are automatically screened to determine eligibility for LIHEAP. SNAP applicants are encouraged to bring electric, gas, oil and other energy utility bills that could qualify them to receive LIHEAP assistance to help pay these costs. SNAP recipients who qualify for LIHEAP may be eligible for an increase in SNAP benefits.

The average LIHEAP benefit for a household this heating season is approximately $300.

The LIHEAP application also serves as an application for the Universal Service Fund (USF) Program, which is state funded and administered by the DCA Division of Housing and Community Resources. USF helps low-income households pay for their electric and natural gas costs. LIHEAP-eligible households may also be eligible to receive USF assistance. To be eligible for USF, a household must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty level and pay more than 3 percent of its annual income for electric or more than 3 percent of its annual income for natural gas. If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than 6 percent of its annual income on electricity to be eligible. 

The chart below provides maximum monthly gross income eligibility levels for both LIHEAP and USF.


Household Size

LIHEAP Program

USF Program





































If more than 12, add:

$165 for each person

$610 for each person


For more information on LIHEAP and USF, visit or call 1-800-510-3102 (LIHEAP). 

The mission of the Division of Housing and Community Resources is to strengthen and revitalize communities through the delivery of affordable housing, supportive services, and financial and technical assistance to local governments and community-based organizations. 

Tammori Petty
Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055