Department of Social Services- Energy Assistance
1. Who is eligible for energy assistance?
Renters, homeowners, residents of public housing, sub-metered homes (where you pay another company, not the utility directly), Roomers/Boarders are all eligible for Energy Assistance grants.
The most important factors in determining who is eligible for energy assistance are the size of your household and how much money you made in the last 30 days.
2. How can I apply?
You can apply online by visiting: (https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us)
Remember to upload all your documents along with your application.
Submitting your documents separately from your online application will delay your application
To apply by mail, you can request an application be mailed to you, or print a copy of the application and mail it, along with all your documents to your local Energy Assistance office. To see a full list of locations please visit:
Energy Assistance offices can accept applications over the phone. However, you will need to email or mail your documents to the local office after your information has been taken. Energy assistance does not need documents to be scanned, we can accept clear pictures of your documents where text is visible.
Since many of our offices also process applications for other social services programs (Food Stamps, TCA, etc.), it may take a while to get an in-person appointment. However, due to local COVID-19 restrictions, some offices are not offering appointments. Call your local office to see if they are scheduling appointments.
3. What do I need to apply?
OHEP provides assistance to help you afford your energy bills. The benefit provided is based on your household income, how many people live in your household, and how much energy your household uses. To determine your benefit, OHEP needs information to prove:
Your identity: We can accept any government-issued photo ID
Who lives in your household: We will need social security cards or other federal government-issued documents (like a W-2 or Social Security Benefits Notice) with name and Social Security name, including children living in the household.
Your utility/heating information: we will need a copy of your utility bill and your heating bill (if you use things like oil, wood, or propane as the main way you heat your home)
Your household’s income: We will need documentation of all income for everyone in your household. Documents can include: paystubs, social security award letters, pension statements, award letters for programs such as TCA and TDAP
For a full list of documents we can accept, please visit:
4. Can Energy Assistance help with an old bill?
Energy Assistance can help you pay down an outstanding balance on your current electricity or heating bill. While we are not able to help with closed accounts, we are able to help with costs necessary to start or continue your electric or heating service.
5. Will my payment plan affect my assistance?
No, the Office of Home Energy Programs works closely with all Maryland utilities and heating companies to make sure our team is getting the most up-to-date balances on every applicant’s account. Your payment plan will not prevent you from receiving the full benefit you qualify for.
6. Do I need to wait for a turnoff notice?
No, do not wait until you have a turn off notice to apply! We can help prevent you from receiving a turn off notice if you apply before you receive one.
7. How can my benefits be used?
Energy Assistance grants can be used to pay for:
Electric and/or natural gas
Kerosene (if that is how you heat your home)
8. Can I give you some of my paperwork now, and the rest later?
Submitting an application without all of your documents will slow down the application process significantly. For the quickest service, please include all of your documents when you submit your application, no matter how you submit your application.
9. Does the utility automatically know I have applied to Energy Assistance?
Unfortunately, utilities do not automatically know that you are applying for Energy Assistance. Utilities are notified that you are working with Energy Assistance when we place a hold on your account or commit to paying certain amounts to your account.
10. My utilities are included in my rent, do I still quality?
Yes, you can receive Energy Assistance benefits no matter what your situation is. If you are responsible for paying for your energy and heating costs, you are eligible for energy assistance.
11. How do I check the status of my application?
Visit (https://myohepstatus.org) to see the status of your application. Since this site is updated when your local office has started working on your application, please allow 15 days for your application to show up on the site. You can also call the DHS call center or local office for updated information.
12. How long will it be until I receive my benefits?
Every application is different because every household is different. If there are issues with the documents you provided with your application, there will be a delay as your local office tries to contact you. We are required to:
Review your application and documents within 14 days after we receive a complete application (this includes all supporting documents so if you do not submit all of your documents with your application, this 14-day clock will not start until we get everything from you)
Process and make a final determination about your application within 45 days of receiving your full application packet.
Please understand that this year we will receive more applications than we have in the past, so some processing delays are expected in highly populated areas.
13. Where can I drop off my application?
All OHEP offices have secured drop-boxes to receive your application. You can find your local office by visiting: (https://dhs.maryland.gov/office-of-home-energy-programs/local-home-energy-program-office/)
14. Are your offices open for walk-in appointments?
Some of our local offices are currently accepting walk-in appointments, however because Maryland is still dealing with COVID-19, offices may be forced to close if there is a diagnosed case of COVID-19 among staff or recent visitors.
Always call ahead to your local office to find out their process for handing in-person applications
15. Where do I apply?
You can apply for Energy Assistance online or by contacting your local Energy Assistance office. A full list of offices can be found on our website: (https://dhs.maryland.gov/office-of-home-energy-programs/local-home-energy-program-office/)
16. Can I apply in another county to get faster service?
Your energy assistance application must be processed by your local office. If you submit your application to another office in another county, it will cause a delay in processing your application as it is sent to the right office. Your application will only be processed when the application was received by the correct office in your local jurisdiction.
17. Does Energy Assistance pay the whole bill?
Certain benefits can significantly reduce or eliminate old balances on your account and lower your bill moving forward. Benefits will not necessarily cover your entire bill.
18. What income is included in determining eligibility for energy assistance?
Income eligibility is based on all gross (before taxes and other deductions) income received by everyone in the household over the age of 18 during the 30 days preceding the date of application. Income for full-time students is not counted as income if the student’s full-time status is documented.
If an applicant receives income monthly from SSI, SSA, wages or a pension, but the income is received within the month, but not received within 30 days, the income is still counted. Example: If the employee applies on April 1st and the last paycheck was received on March 1st, that paycheck is counted.
19. What if I do not have income for the 30 days before my application?
All household members 18 and over who claim zero income was received for the last 30-day application period must complete a Declaration of Zero Income form. A Household Worksheet must be completed to document how your household is meeting basic needs during the time of having no income. If it is indicated on the Household Worksheet that someone is assisting you in meeting the household’s basic needs a Resource Provider Statement must be completed.