Energy Frequently Asked Questions

Can your office verify child support?

If you provide us with a Montana case number for child support handled by DPHHS Child Support Enforcement, we can access the records for the last four months. The LIEAP program, however, needs six month's worth of child support income ending with the month before you turned in your application and going back 6 months.

Can your office verify social security numbers and income given to Office of Public Assistance?

If you are currently on TANF, SSI or receive SNAP (food stamps), we can verify social security numbers for household members OPA considers in the household. However, LIEAP considers everyone living in the household as members and some may not be included by OPA.

If your household is current with the SNAP and all houshold members are receiving assistance at your current address, your income and resources will be verfied through them.  However, if the ENTIRE household is NOT receiving SNAP or your information does not match information given on the LIEAP application, we will require independent proof of income and resources for ALL household members.

How can I verify income?

If you have direct deposit income which does not vary from month to month, a photocopy of a recent bank statement showing that monthly deposit. If you get any type of benefit from the Social Security Administration, a photocopy of your award letter(s) is great. If you have income from self-employment, please call (406) 728-3710 and have us send you a self-employment worksheet to fill out. If you have wage income, we need a check stub showing Year to Date income ending the month before you apply; and beginning and ending check stubs for the portion of last year which falls within the 6 months ending the month before you apply. If you have school loans and grants, we will need a print out showing the amounts for the semesters and/or quarters which fall within the 6 months ending the month before you apply. If you have gift or other undocumented income in that 6 month period, please call (406) 728-3710 and we will provide you a form for declaring undocumented income.

** If your entire household is receiving SNAP benefits and is identical to your LIEAP household in the month you apply, we MAY be able to verify your household makeup, income and resources throught the SNAP office.  If there are questions or additional information is needed, you will receive a letter requesting information.

How do I apply for weatherization?

You apply for weatherization energy conservation assistance when you apply for LIEAP. If you are not LIEAP eligible, you may still be eligible for weatherization as the income guideline is a bit higher for Weatherization.  Eligible households are put on a weatherization waiting list, prioritized by energy usage by the household.

Can propane tank rental and tank sets be paid for with LIEAP benefits?

Tank rental can be taken out of the LIEAP benefit but tank set-ups or the purchase of a tank cannot.

Can my fuel vendor refuse me service during the winter?

The only utility in our area regulated by the Public Service Commission is NorthWestern Energy. Unregulated electric co-ops and deliverable fuel providers can disconnect or refuse service based on lack of payment at any time.

During the winter moratorium (roughly Novermber through March each year), NorthWestern Energy must apply to the PSC for approval in order to disconnect for non-payment. They then must follow a strict policy of notifications and warning.  Winter_Moratorium_Explained.pdf

They can and do disconnect for non-payment year-round.  It is a common myth that your power cannot be shut-off throughout the winter months.

What can I use as proof of citizenship?

Photocopies of social security cards, birth certificates or immigration documents showing permanent immigrant status.

Can the LIEAP and Energy Share Programs help with deposits?

LIEAP is unable to help with energy deposits.  The assistance must be applied to your heating costs between October 1st and April 30th.

Energy Share CAN help with deposits and payoff of old bill in order to have an energy account put in your name.

Do vendors give discounts to LIEAP eligible households?

Yes, some vendors do give discounts.

  • NorthWestern Energy customers get a year-round discount even if you do not heat your home through them but have an electrical account.
  • Missoula Electric Co-op customers get a discount for the balance of the LIEAP program year if they have electrical heat.
  • Missoula Water customers get a credit each month until December of the next program year. Complete the request to inform them as well as a copy of your bill showing the account is in your name and the account number and return to the LIEAP office.

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