HEATING ASSISTANCE FAQ
*Please see this page for up-to-date information on our programs and services during COVID-19.*
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- HEATING ASSISTANCE: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING YOUR HEATING ASSISTANCE APPLICATION
- COMMON APPLICATION QUESTIONS
- INCOME DOCUMENTATION YOU NEED TO SEND WITH APPLICATION
- NOTICE OF APPEAL OF RIGHTS
HEATING ASSISTANCE: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Heating Assistance?
Heating Assistance is a federally funded program that helps low income households pay for a portion of their heating bills during the winter months (November through April).
How do I apply for Heating Assistance?
If you are applying for Heating Assistance for the first time please contact QCAP to schedule an intake appointment. You will be asked to provide household income, housing, and heating source documentation. Missing information will delay your eligibility.
Do I need to be a U.S. Citizen to apply for Heating Assistance?
You do not have to be a U.S. Citizen to apply for Heating Assistance, nor does everyone in the household have to be a U.S. Citizen. You will need to provide verification of U.S. Citizenship or Qualified Alien status. For Further information please call the office at (617) 657-5301.
What if I have applied for Heating Assistance within the last 2 years?
A re-certification application for Heating Assistance will be mailed to you. QCAP will be sending out the 2020-2021 Heating Assistance Applications by October 29, 2020. If you have not received your application by that date, or if you have lost or misplaced your application, please contact Energy Programs at (617) 657-5301.
Please be sure to send in all information with your heating assistance 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 Heating 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 Heating 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 Heating 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 Heating 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 Heating 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 Heating 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. Heating Assistance pays for heating your home starting November 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021, up to your maximum Heating Assistance benefit level.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING YOUR HEATING ASSISTANCE APPLICATION
- 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
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Qualified Alien status
- 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.
COMMON APPLICATION QUESTIONS
OTHER MEMBERS – If adding a new person to the household, write name, age, and date of birth, provide a copy of Social Security card, 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 number(s) correct?
INCOME DOCUMENTATION YOU NEED TO SEND WITH APPLICATION
To complete your application you must include copies of all income for each household member. Last 30-days of income information is required to avoid delays in determining 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, SSP – A) A copy of current award letters, or B) An Annual Statement Letter from Social Security for SS or DTA (for supplemental SSI checks).
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) or contact the office for an agency form – 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 to 23 years of age) 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.
NOTICE OF APPEAL RIGHTS
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 for the 2019-2020 heating season is July 24, 2020. No appeal will be accepted after that date. Heating Assistance Income Limits 2019-2020
- 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 July 24, 2020.
- 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. Please note the change must have occurred on or before May 29, 2020.
Please note face-to-face hearing requests will not be honored during COVID-19; phone calls will replace this method. QCAP will schedule a phone call 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 the call.
If you do not have a call, 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 July 24, 2020.
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 for the 2019-2020 heating season will be accepted by DHCD after September 24, 2020. You must appeal to QCAP before appealing to DHCD.