If I get disbility, can I get help with electric or utility bills?

I've come across this question before. "If I get approved for Social Security Disability, can I get help with my electricity bill or utility bills.".

Answer: the social security administration does not provide assistance for heating, cooling, or, in general, electricity bills.

However, there is a federal program that is available to provide this type of assistance for utilities. The program is called LIHEAP (usually pronounced "lee-hap"). I was familiar with the LIHEAP program back when I was a food stamp caseworker (this was before I became a medicaid caseworker and before I became a Social Security Disability claims examiner).

And at the time, I generally thought of the LIHEAP program in terms of heating assistance. However, there is something called the LIHEAP summer energy assistance program and this program provides assistance to households that include senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

If you receive Social Security Disability benefits or have a pending case, you may be eligible for summer assistance under this program.

To find out more, it might be useful to contact a local department of social services and possibly speak with an adult services social worker.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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