NEFWC Fuel Assistance Program
Also known as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Need help paying for home heating?
Keeping your heat on in the winter is extremely important, especially if someone in your home is elderly, disabled or under 6 years old, since being too cold can cause serious illness or death much more easily for them.
Also, sometimes when heat bills are too high, people use stoves, barbecue grills, improperly vented portable heaters,which can overload electrical circuits. These methods are dangerous, and can cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you are having trouble paying to heat your home, you can get help. New England Farm Workers' Council (NEFWC) offers a Fuel Assistance Program for families that qualify based on household income. An additional benefit is available to households that require a larger than usual amount of energy.
How the Fuel Assistance Program works
If you qualify, NEFWC will make utility payments to the primary heating vendor (such as the oil, gas or electric company) or if heat is included in the rent, a direct payment to the client will be made. All income eligible households may receive discounts of up to 35% on their gas and electric bills. Income eligible households may be eligible for the Verizon lifeline discount depending on their Verizon plan.
NEFWC runs the Fuel Assistance Program for Springfield, MA and northern Worcester County. If you live in a city or town not served by NEFWC, please call 1-866-674-6327 to find your local agency.
How to qualify for help paying heating bills
NEFWC and other administering agencies determine household eligibility based on annualized income and number of household members.
To find out whether your household qualifies, you can review the eligibility requirements, or you can call or stop by the NEFWC office nearest you for information on how to apply for fuel assistance.
To complete your application, you may need some or all of the following materials:
- Recent copies of your utility bills.
- A recent payroll stub or other proof that shows your current gross income.
- Documentation showing income from Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Pension Funds, disability, etc.
- Final Utility Termination Notice (if you've received a shut-off notice from your energy company).
- Proof of present address (e.g., rent receipt, lease or deed, property tax bill).
- Proof of total members living in your household (e.g., birth certificates, school records, etc.).
- Social Security cards (or numbers) for all persons living in your household.
- Current picture ID.
Additional resources for fuel assistance clients
NEFWC fuel assistance/LIHEAP clients are also eligible for the Massachusetts Weatherization Assistance Program, a year-round home energy service that can provide funding for energy conservation projects such as:
- Air sealing to reduce infiltration
- Attic insulation
- Sidewall insulation
- Floor insulation
- Pipe and/or duct insulation
- Limited energy-related repairs
LIHEAP clients can also receive Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides heating system repair and replacement services to low-income households and is also available year-round.
About New England Farm Workers’ and LIHEAP
New England Farm Workers’ Council (NEFWC) has managed the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the City of Springfield since 1982 and for 27 cities and towns in northern Worcester County since 1987. LIHEAP assists low-income households, including owners and renters, in meeting the high cost of home heating, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.