Frequently Asked Questions
Beginning October 1, applications will be available at Division of Public Assistance Offices across the state, senior centers, vendor’s offices, and on line. If you choose the online option, you must download the application, print it, fill it in and then send it in to us. At the present time you cannot complete and return it online.
When you apply, please make sure to include copies of your heat and electric bills, proof of all income for the month prior to the date you signed your application, and a copy of a social security card, tribal ID or State Of Alaska ID. Please complete the application in full and remember to sign it.
Once completed, please mail it to the Heating Assistance Office at 10002 Glacier Highway, Suite 200, Juneau, AK 99801-8569.
The staff will process applications in the order in which they were received. It can take up to 45 days to process your application.
How can I check on my application and find out how much money my vendor will receive?
All clients are notified of their status via a client Notice of Action (NOA). You will receive a NOA letting you know if you have been approved and for how much money, denied, or additional information is needed to process your application. Your vendor will also be sent a NOA to identify who has been approved and for how much money. The vendor should receive payment within one week of the NOA being mailed.
You can also check the IVR Hotline at 1-888-804-6330 (or 269-5777 in Anchorage) from a touch tone phone (will not work with a rotary phone). When the hotline answers:
- press #1 to enter the system
- then press #3 to inquire about your heating assistance benefit
- Listen to any announcements and then press #1
- Provide your social security number when prompted
- Provide your security code when prompted (this will be the last four digits of your primary phone number you listed on your application or the four digits of your birth year if no phone number was provided).
IMPORTANT – The IVR hotline is not updated until after our first payment run (November 1). If you call prior to November 1, you will listening to last year’s information. Please call after November 1 for your FY 2017 benefit amount.
Why are my benefits lower this year?
Heating Assistance benefits are about 30% lower this year because state funding to the program was eliminated as a result of the state’s budget deficit. In past years state funding was supplementing the federal funding which allowed the program to pay out a higher benefit. Only federal funding is available to pay benefits this year.
How long will it take?
It may take up to 45 days to process your application. Continue to pay your bills while waiting for a decision on your application. If your bills are overdue or you are in danger of running out of fuel, contact your heat or utility company to set up a deferred payment agreement. Let them know you have applied for Heating Assistance.
How can I avoid delays?
Providing all the information requested on the application will avoid delays.
- Complete (print carefully), sign and date the application.
- Please be sure to include full names, social security numbers, and dates of birth and ethnicity for all household members on your application.
- Attach copies of pay stubs issued in the prior month for anyone in the household who worked. If you do not have pay stub copies, your employer can complete Form B in the application packet.
- If you have worked seasonally, attach copies of pay stubs for the last 12 months. If you cannot locate all of your pay stubs, have your employer(s) " fill out Form C in the application packet.
- If you have been self-employed, provide an itemized listing of all business related income and expenses received during the last 12 months, use Form A, and provide a copy of your most recent income tax return.
- If you live in a trailer or mobile home 35 feet or more, list the exterior length and width in question 9.
- Attach copies of your most recent fuel and electricity bill(s). If you heat with wood, you must include receipts from wood vendors showing you spent at least $200 on wood. If you self-harvest your wood, please include receipts for supplies used to harvest your wood.
- If heat is included in your rent, attach a copy of your rental agreement and most recent rent receipt.
- Attach a copy of your disconnect notice if it is within 48 hours and you are requesting emergency processing.
- If you live in Section 8 or subsidized housing, attach a copy of your rental housing worksheet.
- Please remember to include a copy of the head of household’s social security card or another form of state or government issued ID for this person.
How often can I receive Heating Assistance?
You can receive one grant each season. The season runs from October 1 to April 30. The first payments will be processed beginning on the first working day in November.
How are Heating Assistance grant amounts calculated?
Heating Assistance grants are calculated using a point system which considers: the area of the state where you live, fuel type, dwelling type, household size and income. Each item has a point value. If you have low heating cost points, you may not qualify.
How we determine benefits
Community Heating Points documents
Are the grants sent directly to me?
In most cases, your grant is paid to your fuel and/or electric company.
Do I qualify if my heat is included in my rent?
If heat is included in your rent and you do not live in subsidized housing, you may qualify for Heating Assistance.
Do I qualify if I live in Section 8 or subsidized housing?
Heating Assistance: If heat is included in your rent, you do not qualify for Heating Assistance.
SRHUD: If you are requesting help with a utility deposit required to establish electric service and/or natural gas for general use for Section 8 or subsidized rental housing and heat is included in your rent, you may be eligible. If you pay for your heat you will not qualify.
Can I apply for Heating Assistance if I do not live in the home?
No. You must live in the home to qualify.
How do I report income?
(Attach copies of all pay stubs and proof of other income received the month prior to the month you sign your application for all members of the household.) If you are a seasonal worker or self-employed go to Form B or C in the application packet to determine your monthly income.
For individuals that are self-employed, seasonally employed, or work rotating/variable work schedules, an average of the previous 12 months income is used to determine eligibility. Use the chart to help you decide if you should apply for the 2016-2017 winter season.
|Application signed in:
||Provide proof of all income received in:
||Application signed in:
||Provide proof of all income received in:|
Do I report my Permanent Fund Dividend and Senior Benefits payments?
PFD and Senior Benefits income is not counted towards your eligibility for Heating Assistance. However, list it as it helps understand how you are meeting your expenses.
Can I transfer my grant?
Once you have received your grant, it cannot be transferred unless you have moved to an area that is served by a different heat/electric company. Contact the Heating Assistance office if you move so we can help you transfer your grant.
Can part of my grant be sent to my electric company?
If you would like 25% of your grant to go to your electric company, you must check the “yes” box on Question 24, provide the required information on Question 26, and include a copy of your electric bill with your application. You must indicate this request when you apply. Changes cannot be made after your grant has been issued.
What determines how much of a grant I will receive?
Benefits are based on the following information:
- Income for the month prior to the date of signature on the application (or a monthly average for the past 12 months if seasonally or self-employed)
- The number of persons in your household, and the number of households living in your home
- The main source of heat for your home
- The type of dwelling you live in (apartment, trailer, etc.)
- Whether or not your dwelling is subsidized (rent payment based on your income through ASHA, HUD, Section 8, etc.)
- The number of bedrooms in your dwelling
- The community you live in
A grant amount is generated based on this information entered into the computer system. For more information, please see "How are Heating Assistance grant amounts calculated?"