Fuel Assistance Program

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply for the Fuel Assistance Program?
To apply, an applicant must call CAPIC to request a fuel assistance application at 617-884-6130. Once the phone “intake” is done with the applicant and a CAPIC representative, CAPIC will mail you the application along with a list of documents needed to apply. An applicant will then submit the application along with their documents to CAPIC for processing. Please click here to see our full instructions on how to apply for and submit your fuel assistance application. A list of generally required supporting documents can be found here.

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE FUEL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?
Fuel Assistance, or the Low Income Heating Emergency Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is an income based program. To see income eligibility levels, please click here. The main applicant of the household must be at least 18 years of age. At least one person in the household must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).

IS FUEL ASSISTANCE CONSIDERED TOWARD PUBLIC CHARGE?
No, LIHEAP is not considered toward Public Charge.

How much money will I be eligible for?
Eligibility and benefit amounts are determined by the Massachusetts Department of Home and Community Development. Program eligibility is based on the gross income of a household. The amount an eligible applicant receives in LIHEAP benefits depends upon the household’s earnings compared to Federal and State poverty levels. Please click here to see eligibility levels and benefit amounts.

How does my heating bill get paid?
The LIHEAP program helps cover an eligible applicant’s primary heating fuel expense from November 1st to April 30th. CAPIC is only able to make payments towards the expense of a household’s primary heating fuel consumption accrued between those dates. Payments are typically made directly to the heating vendor (oil, gas, electric, etc). If an applicant has heat included in their rent, CAPIC will mail a check directly for the amount of the applicant’s rent that pays for the heat (that amount is determined by a form sent directly to the applicant’s landlord).

Keep in mind that fuel assistance payments can only be made up the amount of an applicant’s total award. For example, if an applicant is found eligible for $500 in fuel assistance, CAPIC can only pay up to $500 toward their heating fuel bill. It is the responsibility of the fuel assistance recipient to monitor their heating fuel bills to insure proper account and balance management.

Do I have to report income, such as pensions, interest, annuities or any other assets?
Yes, this is all considered part of your annual gross income, and CAPIC is required to document all income, regardless of the source.
Will I be notified of my eligibility right away?
CAPIC has 45 business days to notify an applicant about their eligibility. It is important that an applicant submit all required documents along with their LIHEAP application to insure a timely processing timeframe. If all documents are not provided along with the application, CAPIC will mail to the applicant an “Incomplete Notice” requesting additional documents. If a household is approved for LIHEAP late in the heating season (season runs from November 1st to April 30th) then CAPIC is able to help pay the heating bill back to November 1st.