February 5, 2008 |

Low income home energy assistance increases maximum

Pennsylvania's Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) will increase the maximum crisis benefit from $300 to $500.

The LIHEAP CRISIS Program provides grants to low-income households during the cold weather season to assist families experiencing an emergency situation that places them in danger of losing their heat including utility service terminations; needed deliverable fuels including heating oil, propane and kerosene; and heating system and fuel line repairs and replacements. LIHEAP recipients who have already received $300 in crisis benefits may now apply for an additional $200 to respond to another home heating crisis.

The Pennsylvania income eligibility guidelines for 2007-2008 limit participation for a “household of one” to a maximum annual income of $15,315; a family of four to a maximum income of $30,975. More eligibility information and application procedures can be found on the Allegheny County Department of Human Services web site at www.alleghenycounty.us/uploadedFiles/DHS/About_DHS/Publications/Brochures/LIHEAPbrochure.pdf. LIHEAP CRISIS program applicants must appear in person and will be interviewed on a first-come first-served, basis between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the following locations:

• Downtown Pittsburgh, Human Services Building, One Smithfield Street, First floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

• Natrona Heights, 1913 Freeport Road (A.V.A.C.), First floor, Natrona Heights, PA 15065

• Braddock, 849 Braddock Avenue, First floor, Braddock, PA 15104

• McKeesport, 345 5th Avenue, McKeesport, PA 15132

LIHEAP makes payments directly to the utility, fuel providers or contractors on the consumer's behalf. Emergency assistance with heating system failure is available 24 hours a day through the DHS Office of Community Services at 1-800-851-3838.

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