September is here – which means it is time to sign up for Vermont’s Seasonal Heating Fuel Assistance Program, which can offset winter heating costs by anywhere from a few hundred to even a few thousand dollars. Senior Solutions is launching a two-month campaign to help residents apply for assistance through Vermont’s LIHEAP program, which could help lower your bills if you heat with oil, kerosene, propane, electric, coal, wood pellets, or cordwood.
Half of Vermont seniors who are eligible never even apply, leaving money on the table. Many others wait until the middle of winter, when the temperature, fuel level in the tank, and bank accounts are all running low. But by waiting until after November, even those found eligible receive only a portion of what they would otherwise be awarded.
This program is income and household-size based. If your monthly income is at or below $2,096 (single person), or $2,823 (household of two), you may qualify. As household size increases, so do income limits.
Benefits are sent directly to your fuel company on your behalf, giving you a credit for the season. In the case of wood, it will either appear on an EBT card containing a cash amount, or could be directly deposited into your bank account.
There are many misconceptions about this program: It doesn’t matter if you own your home, or rent, as long as you are incurring a heating cost. It doesn’t have an “asset test,” so the value of your vehicles, property, and bank accounts are immaterial.
Vermont residents may drop in without an appointment at any of the following locations during September to apply:
Thursday, Sept. 8 – Weathersfield Food Pantry, 2–4 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 13 – Wardsboro Library, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 14 – Good Neighbors/Ludlow, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 23 – Putney Food Shelf, 1–3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 27 – Reading Town Hall, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 27 – Hartland Library, 1–3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 29 – Bellows Falls Senior Center, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 29 – Windsor Food Shelf/Trinity Church, 5:30–6:30 p.m.