State Government

$20 million in additional heating assistance announced by State of VT

In recent days, the State of Vermont has announced pandemic-era funding for emergency housing and enhanced food stamp benefits will continue this winter. Yesterday the State of Vermont announced $20 million in additional funding – $5.8 million of it from state revenue – for emergency heating assistance. The Nov. 17 press release is published below:

Additional Federal and State Dollars Being Used to Mitigate Impact of Higher Fuel Costs

Governor Phil Scott and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) announced today the release of $20 million in Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding for households that heat with fuel oil, propane, kerosene, coal, electricity, and natural gas.

“We know many are feeling the burden of high inflation that is impacting the entire country, and the rise in home heating costs is a significant challenge,” said Governor Scott. “LIHEAP is an important benefit that helps vulnerable families, and I thank our congressional delegation, in particular Senator Leahy, for his work to secure additional LIHEAP funding this year. In Montpelier, we must work tirelessly to keep costs down for Vermont families.”

The benefit was sent directly to fuel dealers on behalf of 14,741 households and averaged $1,375 per household. Earlier this year, benefits were issued to 2,134 households that heat with wood and pellets. This funding helps keep thousands of Vermonters warm during the winter months.

To date, the state has seen a 7% increase in the number of households applying for a seasonal fuel benefit this year as well volatile fuel prices. This year, fuel prices are expected to average about $4.81 per gallon, compared to $2.57 per gallon in FY19. To help mitigate the impact of this increased pressure, the increase in federal funding and an additional $5.8 million in state dollars, through LIHEAP and other programs, will be used to keep the benefit similar to previous years.

Households are encouraged to visit the DCF website or contact the Benefit Service Center at 1-800-479-6151 to apply.

Interim DCF Commissioner Harry Chen said: “We know with the increase in fuel prices, coupled with inflation elsewhere, Vermonters are worried for winter. The LIHEAP benefit has always supplemented heating budgets, and we’re pleased to take some additional steps this year at the state and federal level to help keep benefits similar to previous years, despite the increase fuel costs. I encourage any Vermonter who believes they may be eligible for the benefit, to call our phone line.”

Eligibility: Households may be eligible for Seasonal Fuel Assistance if their gross household incomes are equal to or less than 185% of the federal poverty level. For example, a family of four with a gross monthly income up to $4,279 may qualify for the benefit.

Households may be eligible for Crisis Fuel Assistance if their gross household incomes are equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level and they are experiencing a crisis. For example, a family of four with a gross monthly income up to $4,626 may qualify for the benefit. Learn more at the DCF website.

Categories: State Government

7 replies »

  1. Unfortunately this will just put a patch over a deeper problem, and will be ridden with fraud. We should have voted conservative and an all-possibilities fuel policy to fix the real problem…fuel sources are restricted to consumers by the liberal government.

  2. Another action to further Marxist/Socialism. Brought to you by the Radical Progressives!

    The Government breaks the System used by people to obtain their basic needs to live, deeming people “victims.” Then …… the same Government swoops in to save them by redistributing taxpayer monies through “handouts, assistance and grants.”

    Welcome to the “New American Dream.”

  3. This is just hush money so Bernie the warmonger can continue to push World War III in his hate campaign against Russia.

  4. Soooo, let me see if I understand. We aspire to save the planet from carbon emissions. We use gov. policy to obstruct our access to carbon emitting fuels…to drive up the prices. Then we print money to support our purchase of the fuels at these inflated prices we’ve created? Did I get that right? Is this citizens governing ourselves or the intheknow cognoscenti RULING US?

  5. Kerosene cost $7.27 only 3 Days ago! It increased 20 cents a gallon in one week. Seniors on fixed incomes who are not able to go back to work appreciate the help to assist against the unreal cost increases on basic needs. Cost of living increases do not come close to covering the increase in basic living expenses.

  6. Recently announced funds for homeless people to be sheltered during cold weather and now funds to assist with fuel costs during cold weather. Is Vermont an affordable State when half the year heat and shelter are necessary to survive and many can’t afford those basic needs? We are not the only cold weather State in the Union. These programs have gone on for years. The budgets get larger as more people need them year after year. Federal money is taxpayer money. The State yearly budget is climbing toward a double digit billion dollar figure and the population continues to decline. Where does all the money go year after year? At what point does this endless loop of tax, spend, tax more, spend more change? The people do not benefit if the situations do not change and only get worse. The people do not get out of the loop and do not prosper. Taxation without representation. We are no longer a Republic. We are no longer affordable or sustainable.

  7. Send the bill to Biden…between Hunter’s and Joe Zero’s ill gotten gains it would be more than enough to pay for this crisis that he and his Dem Lemmings created…

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