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 do I find out if I am getting help and how much money will my vendor 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 2, 2015). If you call prior to November 2, you will listening to last year’s information. Please call after November 2, 2015 for your FY 2016 benefit amount.
Why is my benefit lower this year?
The amount paid for heating assistance benefits are defined in State Statute 47.25.621-626. This statute directs us to base our FY 2016 price per point on the average price of a barrel of North Slope crude from September 2014 through February 2015. With the price of a barrel of oil dropping, so too will our payout for the FY 2016 heating assistance season. We will be paying at the rate of $130 per point for FY 2016 (down from $150 per point in FY 2015).
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 check on my application?
You can check to see if we received your application or find out your grant amount by calling our 24-hour information hotline: Anchorage 269-5777 or all other areas toll free 1-888-804-6330. Please note that the hotline will not be updated until November 2, 2015. If you call prior to that date, you will be listening to last year’s award information; not information from FY 2016. Please call after November 2 for FY 2016 award information. You will be asked:
- The social security number of the person listed on page 1, question 2, of your application;
- Your security code is the last four digits of the phone number listed on page 1, question 2, of your application. If there is not a daytime phone listed, use message or cell number.
- If you did not list any phone numbers, your security code will be the 4 digit birth year of the person listed on page 1, question 2 of your application.
For your records, write your security code here _____________.
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 November 2, 2015.
How are Heating Assistance grants 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 (pdf)
Community Heating Points documents (pdf)
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 2015-2016 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.
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