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Vermont's Seasonal Fuel Assistance Program

thermostatFuel Assistance can help to pay part of your home heating bills. You might be eligible for fuel assistance whether you:

  • Own your home or rent;
  • Pay for your heat directly or it's included in your rent;
  • Rent a room in someone else's home; or
  • Live in public, subsidized, or Section 8 housing AND your rent includes the cost of heat

The best way to find out if you are eligible for assistance is to apply.

Applications are accepted through the last day of February 2020.
To get your application click here or call 1-800-479-6151.

Who is Eligible

To determine your eligibility, we will consider your household's income and resources:

  1. Income: you can have a monthly net income of up to 125% of federal poverty levels. Click here for the 2008-2020 Income Guidelines.
    • Income is the total money coming into your household each month, including wages, Reach Up cash assistance, Unemployment Compensation, Social Security or SSI benefits, child support or alimony. We deduct part of the income you earn as well as certain expenses (e.g, childcare). For each person in your household who is 60 or older or has a disability, $250 is deducted.
       
  2. Resources: households with at least one member age 60 or over can have resources up to $10,000. All other households can have resources up to $5,000.
    • Resources are what you or anyone in your household has or owns, including cash on hand, checking, savings, or CD accounts; savings bonds; stocks and bonds; and any property you don't live on. We do not count your house and the land you live on, cars, personal belongings, life insurance policies, or pre-paid burial plans.

There may be people who live in your home who will not be in your Fuel Assistance household (e.g., caretaker or roomer).  This means their income and resources will not count when we determine whether you are eligible and for how much.You still need to list everyone living in your home on the application form.

When to Apply

You can apply up until the last day of February; however, the best time to apply is between July 15 through August 31. If you apply after August 31, you may get a smaller benefit and you will get it later. All applications received after the last day of February will be denied, without exception.  

How to Apply

  1. If you applied for Fuel Assistance last year, you will automatically receive this year's application packet in the mail.
     
  2. Complete the Fuel Application Packet. Be sure to answer all the questions. Do not leave any blanks or it may delay the processing of your application. Write N/A or none if a question does not apply to you. Do not send proof of your answers unless specifically requested in the application. If we have questions, we may ask you to verify your answers.
     
  3. Remember to sign the application. If you do not sign, it will be returned to you.
     
  4.  Mail or bring your application form to your local Economic Services District Office. Or mail it to the Office of Home Heating Fuel Assistance,103 South Main Street, Waterbury VT 05671-1201.

You must complete the Fuel Application every year. Benefits are based on income and estimated annual heating costs.

Have Questions? Need Help?

If you have questions, please call the Office of Home Heating Fuel Assistance toll-free at 1-800-479-6151 or (802) 241-1165. Automated information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you need help completing the application form, contact your local Economic Services District Office, Community Action Agency, or Area Agency on Aging (for those age 60 and older).

How You'll Know We Received Your Application

Page 7 of the Fuel Application Packet (known as the Yellow Card) will be returned to you stamped with a red date. That date tells you when we received your application here in Waterbury. Save this page. It’s important! If you do not receive it within 10 days of mailing or dropping off your application, please call the Office of Home Heating Fuel Assistance at 1-800-479-6151.

When You'll Be Notified of the Decision

Notices of decisions are always sent by mail. This could take up to 4 months, depending on the volume of applications we receive. Last year, about 33,000 households applied. Click here for the schedule of benefit levels and dates of issuance.

How the Benefit is Paid

If you apply by August 31 and are eligible for fuel assistance, your benefit will be paid directly to your fuel dealer in November. If you applied later, your benefit will be paid directly to your fuel dealer later.

If you have heat included in your rent or if you rent a room in someone else's household and are eligible for fuel assistance, you will receive a check in December or later, depending when you applied.

See the benefits levels and dates of issuance schedule for more information.

Other Energy Assistance Programs in Vermont

Energy Support
Green Mountain Power is offering a new pilot program, called Energy Support, to help low-income customers with their electric bills. The program offers a 10 percent discount to customers whose income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Eligibility varies by size of family, but would typically include a family of four with an income of $41,300.

If you believe you qualify for the discount, contact your local Community Action Agency.

 


 


 

 


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