- Heating: Each state receives energy assistance funds from the federal government and distributes them to families through programs like energy bill assistance, weatherization support, and disaster relief. Care teams can help people find their local program with the LIHEAP Clearinghouse (en Español).
- Utility Moratoria: Some states offer utility customer shut-off protections. These seasonal protections vary from state to state and generally only apply to customers who meet certain requirements. Winter moratoria have already started in some states. Check this guide to see if a state has a utility moratorium.
- Internet: The Affordable Connectivity Program provides income-eligible households with a discount on internet services, which often results in free internet. Households that receive WIC are automatically eligible. Care teams can walk people through the National Verifier (en Español) to help determine their eligibility and being the application process.
- Phone: The Lifeline Program offers a discount on phone and internet service, which often results in a free phone with free minutes. Care teams can walk people through the National Verifier (en Español) to help determine their eligibility and being the application process.
- Water: Some states have protections against shutting off water that are offered year-round, seasonally, or based on the weather. Care teams can help people find information about their local policies at the LIHEAP Clearinghouse.
- Safety:The Environmental Protection Agency enforces clean drinking water, air pollution, and soil toxicity standards. Care teams can urge people with concerns about their safety to report environmental violations.
Spotlight on tribal benefits:
Many utility programs offer special benefits for American Indians and Alaska Natives with Tribal Membership. These benefits often require a separate application. Completing the wrong application can delay benefits. Care teams can help people increase benefits and reduce wait times by understanding these benefits.
- Heating: The LIHEAP Clearinghouse has a tribal program locator tool to search for the local tribal office that handles heating assistance.
- Internet: Income-eligible households on qualified tribal land can receive an additional $25/month. Households that receive Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance or Tribal TANF automatically qualify.
- Phone: Income-eligible households on qualified tribal land can receive an additional $25/month.
The Bottom Line
- Care teams can help eligible households apply for utility shut-off protections, maximize budgets, and arrange payment plans for utility debt that may have accrued.