Low-income Rate Assistance
Home Heating Credit
Basic maintenance benefits for LIHEAP are issued through the Home Heating Credit to all low-income households. The Michigan Department of Treasury determines eligibility and makes the payments. You do not need to file a state income tax return to receive the Home Heating Credit. You may apply for the Home Heating Credit only. Eligibility is based on income, number of exemptions and household heating costs. To apply:
Review the Home Heating Credit Claim Instruction Book for more details and complete the MI-1040CR-7 Claim. Current year forms are available on the Treasury website (http://michigan.gov/taxes/0,4676,7-238-44143---,00.html). Forms are automatically mailed to households that received a credit last year. Applications are available from mid- to late January and may be made through September 30 of each year. Forms and instructions are also available at Treasury offices and at most public libraries, Northern Michigan post offices, and Department of Human Services (DHS) county offices.
State Emergency Relief (SER)
SER provides limited help to households with low income who have an emergency that threatens their health or safety. Covered services include home heating, electric and utility bills. Applications are available at the following website: www.michigan.gov/heatingassistance/0,1607,7-215-33211-106339--,00.html
Contact your local DHS office for more information or an application, www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,1607,7-124-5461---,00.html
Winter Protection Plan
Protects low-income customers and all seniors age 65 and older from service shutoff December 1 - March 31. Low-income customers pay 7 percent of their estimated annual bill plus a portion of any other amount they owe during the shutoff protection period. To apply, contact your natural gas or electric utility company or alternative electric supplier.
Emergency Charitable Assistance
Please note these charitable funds are last resort emergency funds with limited resources and limited times of operation.
Pennies for Power Program
Customer donations fund the Pennies for Power Program that provides utility shutoff protection for low-income families in the Lansing area.
The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)
An independent non-profit organization, THAW distributes funds for bill-payment assistance across the state and promotes energy conservation, weatherization and energy efficiency education. THAW partners with several utility companies, who provide funding to administer and operate the program. Most match customer and other donations dollar for dollar and all contributions go directly to low-income bill payments.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army provides utility assistance throughout the State of Michigan. Over 120 caseworkers, working at more than 90 service locations, help families pay their utility bills in order to get through crisis. The Salvation Army receives in-person requests throughout the year during normal weekday hours, as well as telephone inquiries and referrals from other human service agencies. It provides a holistic approach to meet more than just the utility need—including budget counseling, food, rental assistance, and emotional support as necessary. Contact your local Salvation Army at www.usc.salvationarmy.org/wmni or www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/winterwise/energy_assistance.htm