The “Partners for Warmth,” a coalition of southwestern Pennsylvania’s four natural gas companies, has announced the extension of the application period for enrollment in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), including Crisis, in Pennsylvania.
The application period, originally scheduled to end March 29, will now close April 26.
The “Partners for Warmth” — comprised of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Equitable Gas Company, Peoples Natural Gas, and Peoples TWP — have promoted LIHEAP in southwestern Pennsylvania for 21 years in order to help low-income customers pay winter heating bills.
“LIHEAP funds remain available to Pennsylvania residents this winter heating season so they may stay safe and warm in their homes,” said Equitable Gas President Bill Lucas. “The Partners for Warmth strongly urge those who have yet to apply for LIHEAP to take advantage of the program’s extension and file an application as soon as possible. With winter weather continuing in western Pennsylvania, it is critical that individuals and families who need help with a heating bill apply right now.”
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that provides a one-time cash grant applied directly to a customer’s home heating bill. In addition, the Crisis program provides grants to prevent a shut off or address a heating emergency such as a furnace failure.
The program started November 1 and the region’s natural gas companies encourage customers who have not already applied to apply online, through their natural gas utility, through a social service agency, or at their county assistance office.
So far during the 2012-2013 winter heating season, it is estimated more than 485,000 Pennsylvania households have applied for cash grant assistance and more than 86,000 households have applied for Crisis grants.
Although LIHEAP is administered through Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare, it is not a public assistance program. Eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP change, and customers who may not have been eligible in the past are encouraged to reapply.
For the 2012-2013 winter heating season, the income eligibility limit is 150 percent of federal poverty income guidelines. This means a family of four cannot exceed an annual income of $34,575 to be eligible. The minimum grant for the heating season is $100.
Customers can apply online through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Access to Social Service website (COMPASS) at www.compass.state.pa.us , through the Partners for Warmth at www.PartnersforWarmth.org or by calling 1-866-827-1281.
For additional details about LIHEAP and other assistance programs, customers can contact their natural gas company by calling one of the following numbers: Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, 1-800-272-2714; Equitable Gas, 1-877-577-8735; Peoples Natural Gas, 1-800-400-9276; or, Peoples TWP, 1-800-222-5101.
To apply, the utility customer must provide the following information: Names of all people in the household; Birth dates for all people in the household; Social Security numbers for all members of the household; Proof of income for all members of the household; and, A copy of a recent heating bill.