The Minnesota Department of Commerce has adjusted program policies for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program to assist the newly unemployed. The result of these changes – such as income eligibility and a deadline extension – will allow even more Minnesotans to receive help.
The Minnesota Energy Assistance Program can help those behind on their energy bills or help pay for home heating and furnace repairs for income-qualified households. This is especially important information for those that have just become unemployed under the pandemic.
The deadline for applying has been extended until July 1, meaning that there is still time for those who have not already received help this heating season. It is important that those who have newly become unemployed, those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and households with young children, people with disabilities, veterans, and seniors apply.
The Energy Assistance Program has adjusted program policies to make it easier for households to apply and get additional help. Some of these policy adjustments that will result in more access to help include:
- Income eligibility to be based on the past one month
- The application deadline is extended to July 1
- The annual crisis benefit maximum is increased to $1,200 (up from $600). Crisis benefits are for past due bills, emergency fuel deliveries
- Allowing crisis benefits to pay a household’s past due bill, even without a disconnection notice
It’s important to note that both renters and homeowners are eligible. Assets such as the value of your home are not considered in determining eligibility. The grants range from $200 to $1,400, based on household size, income, and fuel cost, with the average grant being about $500. In addition to the initial grant, additional funds are available to help pay a past due bill, get an emergency fuel delivery, or even help homeowners get their broken furnace repaired or replaced.
How to apply for the Energy Assistance Program: New applicants have until July 1 to apply. Funding is limited and administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Households apply at their local Energy Assistance Program service provider.
Households can find their Energy Assistance Program provider by calling 1-800-657-3710 and following the prompts to enter their zip code, or use THIS LINK to find a list of service providers by county or tribe.
Please find general Energy Assistance Program information at mn.gov/commerce/eap.jsp.