Frequently Asked Questions
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- FUEL ASSISTANCE: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING YOUR FUEL ASSISTANCE APPLICATION
- COMMON APPLICATION QUESTIONS
- INCOME DOCUMENTATION YOU NEED TO SEND WITH APPLICATION
- NOTICE OF APPEAL OF RIGHTS
What is Fuel Assistance?
Fuel Assistance is a federally funded program that helps low income households pay for a portion of their heating bills during the winter months (November thru April).
How do I apply for Fuel Assistance?
If you are applying for Fuel Assistance for the first time please contact QCAP to schedule an intake appointment. You will be asked to bring information with you to your intake appointment; this information includes household, income, housing, and heating source documentation. Missing information will delay your eligibility.
What if I have applied for Fuel Assistance within the last 2 years?
A re-certification application for Fuel Assistance will be mailed to you. QCAP will be sending out the FY 2017 Fuel Assistance Applications by October 31, 2016. If you have not received your application by that date, or if you have lost or misplaced your application please contact the Energy Department at 617-479-8181 ext. 301. Please be sure to send in all information with your fuel application as quickly as possible so that we can review and process your application.
Does the intake worker process my application?
The intake worker takes your information and tries to obtain all information needed to complete the application. Your application will then be reviewed by a Certifier according to your completed application date. At that point additional information may be requested to determine eligibility based on Program Guidelines. A letter will be sent to you requesting additional information, or informing you of your eligibility and benefit amount.
How long until I get an answer?
Once you have had either your intake appointment or returned your re-certification application you should receive a written response within 6 weeks. At that time we will let you know if your application has been approved, denied or determined to be incomplete.
What if I get a letter requesting more information?
If you receive a notice, you must supply all the requested information for your application to be processed. Your application will remain incomplete until this information is received.
How will I be notified if I am accepted for Fuel Assistance?
All applicants are notified by mail of their approval, and the benefit amount. The heating company is also notified at this time. If applicant is denied eligibility, they will be notified by mail also.
What if my heat is included in the rent?
In some instances, if your heat is included with your rent, you may be eligible to receive 30% of your rent amount for the heating season or until your benefits are exhausted. Certain rent subsidies may not be eligible.
How do my bills get paid?
If you are approved for Fuel Assistance, funds are paid directly to the heating provider for oil, electric, gas or propane.
Should I pay my heating bills?
It is important to make payments on your heating bill, even after applying for Fuel Assistance, as your benefit amount may not cover your entire heating bill for the heating season.
Do I receive a discount on my utility bills?
If you are approved for Fuel Assistance you will be eligible for a discount on your utility bills. Applicant's name must be on the bill as customer of record to receive discount. BELD does not offer a discount. QCAP's Fuel Assistance program will notify the appropriate utility companies of eligibility.
What detailed information do I need to complete my re-certification application?
The following is detailed information on the re-certification application. Your Fuel Assistance application sent to you is for the coming winter’s program, and will be your application for other QCAP Energy Programs, such as Weatherization, and Utility Discount and Conservation Programs. The Fuel Assistance pays for heating your home starting November 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017, up to your maximum Fuel Assistance benefit level.
- Read and correct any printed information on your application.
- Return your signed application (signature line is now on the reverse side of the application form) with:
- Proof of income for each member of the household, and
- A recent heating bill with name, address and account number.
- Answer all questions, including those at the bottom of the front page of the application.
OTHER MEMBERS – If adding a new person to the household, write name, age, and date of birth, Social Security number, and income source, and send in proof of income as listed below.
HEATING INFORMATION – If oil, QCAP will need to know the location of your fill.
UTILITY INFORMATION – Verify your gas and electric account numbers.
TELEPHONE CONTACT INFORMATION – Is your phone # (s) correct?
To complete your application you must include copies of all income for each household member. Last 30-days of income information is required. DO NOT SEND BACK AN APPLICATION WITHOUT INCOME DOCUMENTATION. This will cause delays in your eligibility. Please note QCAP is now required to verify records on file with the Federal Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance.
Social Security, SSI, SSDI – A) A copy of current award letters, or B) An Annual Statement Letter from Social Security for SS or DTA (for supplemental SSI checks) or C) most recent bank statement showing monthly direct deposit.
VA Benefits - A copy of current check stub showing GROSS VA amount or letter from source with Gross amount received monthly.
Pension/Retirement Income – A copy of current check stub showing GROSS Pension, or a current letter from source with Gross amount received monthly.
IRAs - IRA withdrawals and distributions need to be documented using 1099, or monthly statement.
Interest and Dividends – Copy of current 1099 tax form, or yearly statement. Copy of IRS 1040 and Schedule B. All interest & dividends must be reported.
Rental Income – Copy of most recent IRS 1040, and Schedule E. Call QCAP if you don’t file taxes.
Wages – Copies of pay stubs for 4 consecutive weeks (most recent 4 weeks prior to the date you return your application)
Unemployment – DUA printout, or check stubs for most recent 4 weeks.
Alimony/Child Support – Copies of checks for 30 days, or copy of most recent Court Order, or letter from lawyer, or notarized letter from former spouse (with current address) – all must show amount of support, and frequency of check.
TAFDC/EAEDC – Documentation stating your current grant amount.
Other Income – Documentation stating royalties, regular lottery payment, regular insurance payments, regular ongoing cash support from others, stipends/fellowships/scholarships used for maintenance, Estate or Trust income, housing allowance, or any other payment considered income.
Lump Sum Income – Documentation stating income from lump sum receipts such as stocks, bonds, Capital Gains, royalties, inheritances, one time insurance payments (excluding life insurance and third party payments) one time Alimony or Child Support in lieu of monthly payment, lottery winnings paid in lump sum. These are counted only on the first year application.
No Income – Please call & request a Statement of No Income form which needs to be completed by any household member age 18 & over, having no income for any time during the 30 days prior to mailing your application. All zero income recertified applicants will need to provide housing cost documentation.
Student Status - Full and Part Time Students (18 yrs & up) need to send proof of current full time or part time enrollment status from Registrar’s Office of the school they attend.
Self-Employment – Please call QCAP for instructions on what you will need to send.
Business Equity Information is required if gross receipts/revenue are greater than $250,000 per year
**HOMEOWNERS ONLY – send a current real estate tax bill, mortgage statement and homeowner’s insurance bill for all Real Estate property that you own.
You may appeal to QCAP for any of the following reasons. Mail appeals to: QCAP Energy Program, 1509 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02169. The deadline for making appeals to QCAP is June 23, 2017. No appeal will be accepted after that date.
- If you have been denied assistance, or you disagree with the amount of assistance, you may appeal within 20 working days of receipt of any notice of eligibility, or ineligibility.
- If you have not received any decision on your application (eligible, or ineligible) after 40 days from the date of your application, you may appeal. The last day to appeal to QCAP is June 23, 2017.
- If your household has had a change in either income or household size since your original application date, you may request another review of QCAP’s previous decision of eligibility (amount of assistance), or ineligibility.
QCAP will schedule an informal face-to-face hearing only if you request it on an appeal form provided by QCAP, or if QCAP deems it necessary. QCAP will reach a decision, and send you a written notice within 10 working days after a hearing.
If you do not have a face-to-face hearing, you may still be required by QCAP to submit new, or additional documentation in support of your appeal. QCAP will reach a decision and send you written notice within 20 working days of receipt of complete documentation, if new or additional documentation has been requested. No appeal will be accepted by QCAP after June 23, 2017.
You may, within 20 working days after receiving a written decision from QCAP, file an additional appeal in writing to: Attn: LIHEAP Appeals Officer, Community Services Unit, Division of Community Services, Department of Housing and Community Development, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02114.
No appeal will be accepted by DHCD after August 25, 2017. You must appeal to QCAP before appealing to DHCD.
QCAP offers a variety of different programs which may be of assistance to you and your family. Please contact QCAP at 617-479-8181 ext 300 to see if we can further assist you and your family.