The energy assistance programs in South Dakota can help low income families with heating bills. The main resource is known as LIEAP, and this provides cash grants for winter home heating costs. A secondary program can help families save money on their heating and utility bills, and this is known as weatherization. Both operate on a first-come basis, and resources are limited.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program may not pay for all of your home heating costs, so participants need to be prepared to continue to make some form of payments. A number of factors are reviewed in order to determine eligibility. Any amount of assistance paid out by South Dakota will be partially determined based on the income of everyone in your home, the number of people in your home, the type of fuel you use and the cost of your monthly heating bills. If you are found to be eligible, the payment is made to your energy supplier or utility company.
The LIEAP South Dakota Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) can help in an emergency situation. Aid may be offered for people that have a current disconnection notice for the primary heat source; have an eviction notice for non-payment if heat is included in rent or paid in addition to rent; or if they have less than 20% of oil in their tank.
Types of fuel or heating sources paid for may include electric heat, propane, electricity, and natural gas. If you are eligible for energy assistance from the state of South Dakota, the benefit more than likely will be sent directly to your utility company or energy provider on your behalf, and may be in the form of a credit. The low income program may also assist if your home heating costs are included in the cost of your rent or if you pay heating costs directly to your landlord or property manager in addition to your rent.
State residents are only allowed to receive benefits from the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program once during the year, and they can’t receive both State and Tribal energy assistance program benefits in the same year. In addition, this will only pay a portion of your bill, and participant must still pay, on their own, any heating bills that are not paid for by LIEAP.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is another government funded resource, and this one can help low-income South Dakota families overcome the high cost of home heating and energy bills by making their homes or rental units more energy efficient. Grants can pay for insulation, conservation and other energy-saving improvements to help lower their heating bills, so there is no cost to the individual who enrolls. You need to call your local community action agency for information or to enroll.
The weatherization improvements of a residence may or may not include measures such as these. Insulating walls, attics, and under floors. Weather-stripping of doors and windows. Repair, tune-up or even the replacement of non-functional heating systems. The program can also provide for the caulking and sealing cracks and holes in a building structure.
Similar to LIEAP mentioned above, applicants need to be low income, and priority is given to families with children, the elderly, single family dwellings, individuals with disabilities, and others. Also, the weatherization program is limited in scope, and funds are not extensive. So people more than likely will be placed on a waiting list. Renters, as well as homeowners, are eligible if the landlord gives written permission for the work to be done.
While the rules and regulations could change, in general some or all of the following must be done in order to receive assistance from weatherization or in order to get help with heating bills from LIEAP in South Dakota. People need to provide proof of household income for everyone living in the house. This proof can include copies of check stubs, tax return, award letters, employer's income statements, etc. Applicants need to also have proof of home heating costs, including copies of bills and account information.
Dial the state at 1-800-233-8503 to get an application, or stop by your local community action agency. You can also visit your local Department of Social Services office. Please keep in mind all funding and resources are limited and prioritized.
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