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The Emergency Assistance (EA) Program helps families get or keep their homes. EA helps pay for rent or utility security deposits, first month's rent, home heating fuel deliveries, or past due rent, mortgage, or utility debts. Families must meet all the eligibility rules for Financial Assistance for Needy Families (FANF) cash assistance. However, families do not have to get the FANF cash benefit to qualify for EA.

EA helps families with children who have a housing or utility crisis and do not have the resources to fix the crisis. Families must be experiencing or threatened by one or more of the following:

  • Homelessness;
  • Termination of a utility; or
  • Lack of heat, hot water or cooking fuel.

The emergency situation cannot have been caused by a family member quitting a job. It also cannot have been caused by a member refusing to accept or continue with employment or training.

Availability of EA payments is limited:

  • Funding for EA payments is capped. Applications received after available funds are depleted must be denied; and
  • Recipients of EA payments are generally allowed to have a vendor paid with EA funds only once in a 12 month period.

There are exceptions to the "once in a 12 month period" rule. It does not apply to requests for:

  • Home heating fuel deliveries - these deliveries may be authorized up to 6 times in a 12 month period, up to the $700 cap; and
  • Rental security deposits - when the amount last approved within a 12 month period was or will be returned to DHHS by the former landlord.

Emergency Assistance (EA) funds for permanent housing and associated utility expenses can be authorized for the reasons and payment amounts cited below.

  • Security Deposit and/or First Month's Rent for Rental Housing-Maximum Payment: $650 for security deposit, or first month's rent, or both if the total is not more than $650
  • Back Rent - Maximum Payment: No more than a 2 month arrearage period and only the amount needed to keep housing
  • Mortgage Arrearages-Maximum Payment: No more than a 2-month arrearage period and only the amount of back payments covering principal and interest needed to keep housing
  • Utility Deposits to Get Gas, Electricity, Water/Sewer or Heat - Maximum Payment: Amount charged by the utility provider per utility
  • Utility Arrearages to Stop Termination of Gas, Electricity, Water/Sewer or Heat - Maximum Payment: No more than a 2 month arrearage period
  • Home Heating Fuel to Provide Heat, Hot Water, or Cooking Fuel, including home heating fuel arrearages (but not the cost of electricity to heat the home)-Maximum Payment: $700

General EA Eligibility Rules: Families must qualify for FANF cash benefits, even if they do not actually get the cash benefit.

EA Specific Rules: EA funds are meant to help a family fix an emergency situation. However, the family must first apply their own resources towards the situation. A family applying for EA must be without resources to meet an emergency situation, or the situation must require more resources than a family has available to fix it.

Proof: Besides the proof needed to qualify for FANF, the family must give DHHS proof of the emergency. The family must also give DHHS proof of the amount of money needed to fix it. If the amount of money needed to fix the emergency situation is more than the maximum EA payment amounts allow, the family must also give DHHS proof that they can get the rest of the money needed to fix the situation.

What Happens Now?

If you feel you meet the rules, you may apply for EA and

We will contact you if we have more questions.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

copyright 2016. State of New Hampshire