February 3, 2017 – The New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning have increased the income eligibility guidelines for fuel assistance in New Hampshire, which means significantly more families will have access to much-needed fuel assistance this heating season.
“It is life threatening in New Hampshire to run out of fuel,” said LIHEAP manager Celeste Lovett. “Low fuel can be dealt with, but no fuel is dangerous.”
The eligibility guidelines this year require a gross annual income of less than $31,355 for a family of one, and $60,298 for a family of four. Last year’s guidelines required no more than a gross annual income of $23,760 for a family of one, and $48,600 for a family of four.
Fewer applicants in recent years has allowed for the increased eligibility guidelines. “It is not known for certain why fewer people are applying,” said Lovett. “The economy has improved in recent years, but there are still plenty of people who need assistance.”
The average amount of fuel assistance, $655, is equal to roughly the cost of two fuel deliveries. The aid can range from $75 to $1,125 per household.
The new eligibility guidelines means that significantly more families qualify for heating assistance. Statewide, of the 28,968 households that applied for assistance, 24,369 were eligible.
“People don’t always realize they can apply—these new guidelines make a difference,” said Lovett. “It certainly is not too late to apply.”
Sources: Media reports