LEAP provides a one-time payment of up to $500 ($600 if your home is heated electrically) per calendar year, which is automatically credited to your utility bill, like electricity or natural gas.
The assistance is only available if you are behind on your bill – or in arrears – and may face having your service disconnected.
Eligibility is based on your household’s total annual income. To qualify, it must be at or under:
- $28,000 for 1-2 people
- $39,000 for 3-4 people
- $48,000 for 5-6 people
- $52,000 for 7+ people.
The one-time payment is meant to provide emergency relief. It is not intended to provide regular or ongoing bill payment assistance*. You cannot receive more money than the current outstanding balance on your bill.
*The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) is a separate program that provides monthly on-bill credits for lower-income customers to reduce their electricity bills.
In Ottawa, United Way Ottawa administers LEAP in conjunction with the Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre and a network of community in-take agencies.
To apply for LEAP Emergency Financial Assistance, please visit your local social service agency or call 211.
Effective July 14, 2021 the OEB has made some temporary changes:
- LEAP applicants no longer need to be in threat of disconnection, but still must be in arrears and income-qualifying.
- LEAP can be received more than once per year, but the total annual amount received by a household may not exceed $500 ($600 for electrically heated homes.