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Am I Eligible?

Homeowners and renters (even households whose cost of heat is included in the rent) can apply for fuel assistance. Fuel assistance is available if your household gross annual incomes does not exceed 60% of the estimated state median income.

How do I Apply for Fuel Assistance?

To apply for Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP) in Cambridge, contact the Cambridge Department of Human Services at 617-349-6252. You can also call the Massachusetts Heat Line toll-free at 1-800-632-8175 for information. A Fuel Assistance staff member will help you with your application.

When should I apply?

You may apply for fuel assistance any time during the heating season, up until April 30.

What documents do I need to apply for Fuel Assistance?

You will need to provide the following information and documents to apply for fuel assistance.

1) Household information:

  • Names, birthdates, and Social Security Numbers of all household members
  • Picture I.D. for the head of household
  • Proof of address

2) Income information:

  • You need to provide proof of income for the past 30 days for all household members who are 18 or older.

3) Utility information:


  • copy of current heating bill showing the name on the account, the account number, service address, rate, and amount.
  • if you rent your home and heat is included in your rent, or if you live in subsidized housing (such as Section 8 )

4) Zero income households:

  • There are special documentation requirements for households that claim zero income or very low income.

How long does it take to find out if I am eligible?

If you bring all of the required documents with you when you apply, you will usually find out if you are eligible for fuel assistance right away. If you do not have all of the required documents when you apply, the process will take longer, but not more than 40 days.

People facing a heating emergency get priority treatment. If you are found eligible, you will get help within 18 hours.

Once you have been approved, you will get a written notice of your benefit level. Fuel Assistance will make payments directly to your heating company. The agency will make payments up to your benefit limit for heating fuel used between November 1 and April 30.

If you are denied fuel assistance, or if you do not agree with your benefit amount, you have the right to appeal the decision. You must appeal within 20 days of the date you receive the notice. The notice will include instructions on how to appeal.

How do I apply for other energy programs?

If you apply for fuel assistance, you do not have to fill out separate applications for other energy programs. Your fuel assistance application is all you need. Your Fuel Assistance agency will let you know if you are eligible for other energy programs such as weatherization, furnace repair, Citizens Energy programs, and utility discounts.

For more information about these, continue to Additional Assistance Programs…

Site updated: February 13, 2018 Page updated: March 24, 2016

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