Home heating and utilities banner

The 2023 – 2024 Fuel Assistance Season ends May 10th, 2024. New office hours apply for off-season. Contact our office if you have questions. Thank you!

Fuel Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

American families have to make tough decisions when it comes to their finances.

Do you pay for child care over food? Energy bills over medicine?

With the help of the LIHEAP program, you can make less compromises on the important things.

The Fuel Assistance program assists eligible households pay their heating bills during the winter/spring season or until benefits are exhausted. Clients also receive various discounts such as telephone discounts, electric discounts, and gas and oil discounts. Clients will also be provided help with past due arrearage management.

The benefits don’t stop there! When you qualify for LIHEAP, you gain access to our other energy related services including Weatherization, Heating Repairs, and Appliance Management to enhance the energy efficiency of your home, saving you even more money.

fuel assistance guidelines for the 2023 - 2024 season

Program Details:

Eligibility: Eligibility is based on annual gross household income, family size and annual heat consumption. Income guidelines used are established by the federal government.

Service Area: Fall River, Assonet, Freetown, Rehoboth, Swansea, Somerset, Seekonk, Westport, Taunton, Berkley, Dighton, and Lakeville.

Documentation Needed: Clients must document a minimum of “4” consecutive weeks of income or any number not to exceed the prior “52” weeks. Proof of residence is required for all applicants by submitting a copy of a current heating or electric bill. Social security numbers are requested of all household members over 18 yrs of age. Proof of housing costs is also required. For renters, please submit a copy of the current lease or rent receipt and for homeowners, please submit a current mortgage statement, real estate tax bill and homeowners insurance policy with an annual premium.

Households must document US Citizenship or “Qualified Alien Status” for all members. Some examples of documentation are: social security card, birth certificate and/or green card. Please contact our office for a complete list of acceptable documents.

Please note: Households that include non-citizens may be eligible for fuel assistance benefits if the non-citizens are “Qualified Aliens” or if at least one member of the household is a United States citizen (which may include a child born in the US). Green cards (INS Form I-551) are one of the documents that establish “Qualified Alien” status for a member of the household. Again, please contact our office for a more complete list of acceptable documents.

Application Process: We are now offering an online portal for new and returning applicants to complete Fuel Assistance applications. Please do not use the portal if you have already sent in your purple application for the current fuel season.

You can still apply in-person by calling us at 508 – 679 – 0041 (Greater Fall River) or 508 – 823 – 6346 (Greater Taunton) or by emailing fuelmail@cfcinc.org to setup an appointment with an intake worker.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is LIHEAP and how can LIHEAP help me?

LIHEAP (or Fuel Assistance) is a federal program that helps qualified households within a certain income threshold pay a portion of their winter home heating bills. In Massachusetts, LIHEAP eligible households may also get help with weatherizing their homes and other related benefits.

How will I find out if I am approved for fuel assistance?

You will receive either a letter of eligibility or a letter of denial mailed directly to you.

How long does it take to find out if I have been approved for Fuel Assistance?

Normally, it takes approximately 6-8 weeks from 11/1 or your application completion date (whichever is later) to have your application processed. Incomplete applications cause additional delays. You can also check the status of your application or payments made by calling our 24/7 hotline at 508-676-7397 (Available in 4 languages).

How are benefit levels determined?

Generally, benefits levels are determined based on home energy costs, taking into account household size and income, as well as other factors.

How do my heating bills get paid?

CFC will also notify your heating company of your eligibility and the amount of benefits in which you are eligible. Your heating company will submit your bills directly to CFC on a monthly basis for payment. CFC makes payments directly to your heating company. You will continue to receive your bills as well.

What other benefits am I eligible to receive if I am determined eligible for Fuel Assistance?

Once deemed eligible, CFC will automatically enroll you for utility discounts offered by various companies. Please note that TMLP and Middleboro Gas & Electric do not currently offer discounts for fuel assistance eligible customers. You may also be eligible for our free energy efficiency services, which include an energy audit, weatherization, replacement of inefficient appliances, and heating system repair and/or replacement.

What period of time do my bills get paid?

The program begins on November 1st and typically ends on April 30th (with possible exceptions). Primary heating bills incurred between this period of time are eligible for payment depending upon your maximum benefit level. We suggest that you keep track of your monthly bills so you know when you have reached the amount in which you are eligible. After that, you are responsible to pay your monthly bills. If you have a balance owed to your utility company, you should inquire about the Arrearage Forgiveness program offered by your utility company (excluding municipal companies).

What if my heat is included in my rent?

If you live in non-subsidized housing and have your heat included in your rent, you may be eligible for a 30% reimbursement of your monthly rent paid back to you. Reimbursements are for the winter months between November – April or up to your maximum benefit level.

Does fuel assistance help with electric bills?

The fuel assistance program helps households with their primary heating source bills. If determined eligible, CFC will notify your electric company so that you can be put on the discount rate, which in turn will lower your monthly electric bill. (Municipal electric companies excluded.) If your electricity is shut off or about to be shut off, you can contact the fuel assistance department for additional information.

If I rent or live in subsidized or public housing, can I receive help from LIHEAP?

Renters are eligible for LIHEAP assistance. Many renters pay for their energy costs directly, while others pay these costs indirectly, through their rent. In either case, you may be eligible for LIHEAP if you otherwise meet the program qualifications.

You said I don’t qualify for LIHEAP. I think you made a mistake. What can I do?

You have the right to appeal any decision made by us.  The appeal process is outlined in the denial notice that you received.  If you didn’t receive a denial notice or cannot find the notice that explains the appeals process, contact our office for further information and we will explain the appeals process to you.

Fall River Office

Director: Dennis Medeiros

Program E-mail: fuelmail@cfcinc.org

Address: 250 Griffin St., Fall River, MA 02724
Telephone: (508) 679-0041
Automated Telephone Line: (508) 676-7398
(Four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Khmer)
FAX: (508) 675-0245

Office Hours:

Normal Business Hours

Mon. – Thurs. 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  &  1:15 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Fridays – Emergencies Only – Week Hours Apply

Taunton Office

Director: Dennis Medeiros

Program E-mail: fuelmail@cfcinc.org

Address: 1 Taunton Green, Taunton MA 02780
Telephone: (508) 823-6346
Automated Telephone Line: (508) 676-7398
(Four Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Khmer)
FAX: (508) 823-6348

Office Hours:

Normal Hours
Mon – Thurs 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Fridays – Emergencies Only – Week Hours Apply