View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 19, 2000
          Fact Sheet: Income Eligibility for LIHEAP Assistance
                           February 19, 2000

Today, HHS Secretary Donna Shalala encouraged the governors of eighteen states most seriously affected by increased home heating costs to take additional action in distributing federal assistance available under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The letter encouraged these governors to use options available to them to expand the number of families in their states who can receive LIHEAP assistance and to use other funding sources that can provide additional assistance during this period.

The LIHEAP program helps pay for home heating oil bills for lower income families and can be released on an emergency basis by the President when circumstances warrant -- including severe weather or unusually high energy prices. Last week President Clinton released to states an additional $120 million in LIHEAP funds for a total of $295 million released this winter.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program and LIHEAP funds are distributed by states. States have wide latitude in choosing the maximum income threshold for eligible families, using guidelines that are set by federal law. Many states have not chosen the highest income threshold available to them. In order to provide increased LIHEAP assistance, the administration is urging governors to consider using the maximum income threshold available as they confront this situation with all federal, state, and local resources available to them.

          STATE           Current State Income    Maximum Income
                            Eligibility Standard  Threshold

          Alaska                   29,232               34,484
          Connecticut              25,050               43,624
          Delaware                 25,050               37,903
          Maine                    20,875               28,826
          Marylamd                 20,050               39,905
          Massachusetts            29,225               39,007
          Minnesota                30,289               36,346
          New Hampshire            26,991               35,989
          New Jersey               25,050               40,401
          New York                 25,050               33,547
          North Carolina           18,370               31,074
          North Dakota             25,050               28,153
          Pennsylvania             18,370               33,232
          Rhode Island             29,225               37,203
          South Carolina           20,875               29,796
          South Dakota             23,380               28,099
          Vermont                  20,875               31,088
          Virginia                 21,710               34,230