The bitter cold stretch that recently gripped South Dakota required families to use more energy to stay warm. For families struggling to pay winter heating bills, the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) may be able to help.
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) helps vulnerable South Dakota families stay safe and warm by assisting with home heating expenses. LIEAP is a federally funded program administered by DSS.
“When winter temperatures drop dangerously low, it’s critical for South Dakota families to keep the house warm,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “However, the cost of that heat can put a major strain on low-income families’ finances. There are eligibility requirements, but some families do qualify for financial help.”
Eligibility and assistance amounts are based on the number of people in your home, income of all residents, type of heating, and where you live. If you qualify, the payment is made directly to your energy supplier.
Eligible heating sources include coal, electric, fuel oil, natural gas, propane, and wood. Energy assistance funds are paid on a first come first serve basis. Last year, qualifying customers received an average annual benefit of $648.
“A stable, safe, and affordable home environment is key to reducing stress and keeping families strong,” Gill said. “The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program aims to help provide that to individuals and families who need it most.”
Nine out of 10 households assisted by LIEAP include at least one elderly person, child, or person with a disability.
For more information about energy assistance or to complete an application visit dss.sd.gov and click on the Economic Assistance tab or call 1-800-233-8503 to have an application mailed to you.