RALEIGH, NC — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging eligible North Carolinians to see if they are eligible for the  Low-Income Energy Assistance Program or the Crisis Intervention Program if they need assistance with heating bills.
Households can apply online through the ePASS portal at epass.nc.gov or by submitting a paper application through mail, fax or dropping it off at their local Department of Social Services, without having to go into the agency to apply. Individuals may also contact their local DSS by phone to apply. 
“We know many of our neighbors are still dealing with economic hardships due to the impacts of COVID-19, but assistance for heating bills is available to help keep people and families safe and warm as the weather gets colder,” said NCDHHS Senior Director for Economic Security Carla West.

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program is a seasonal program that provides for a one-time vendor payment to help eligible households pay their heating bills. LIEAP applications for this winter have been on-going since Dec. 1, 2021 for certain, eligible populations. Applications for all other eligible households began Jan. 3, 2022 and will be accepted until March 31, 2022 or until funds are exhausted. To be eligible for the LIEAP program, a household must:

  • Have at least one U.S. citizen or non-citizen who meets the eligibility criteria 
  • Have income equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty limit
  • Have resources, such as saving and checking accounts and cash on hand, at or below $2,250 (resources will not be counted for 2021-2022 LIEAP season)
  • Be responsible for their heating cost

The Crisis Intervention Program is a year-round program that assists individuals and families who are experiencing a heating or cooling-related crisis. A household is considered in crisis if it is currently experiencing or is in danger of experiencing a life-threatening or health-related emergency and assistance is not available from another source. CIP applications will be accepted now until June 30, 2022 or until funds are exhausted. To be eligible for CIP, a household must:

  • Have at least one U.S. citizen or non-citizen who meets the eligibility criteria
  • Have income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty limit
  • Have an energy related crisis
  • Have a utility statement that shows how much is owed to alleviate the crisis

For more information on these energy programs and specific eligibility, visit the LIEAP and CIP websites at:

NCDHHS strongly encourages families to take advantage of the new ways to apply for energy programs to help maintain social distancing and help slow the spread of COVID-19.