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LIHEAP program opens for assistance with utility bills

 

November 5, 2019



The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) application process for the 2019-20 season has begun.

LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills so low-income Pennsylvanians can stay warm and safe during the winter months. Assistance is available for renters and homeowners. Applications for LIHEAP cash and crisis benefits ends April 10, 2020.

“As winter approaches and nights get colder, Pennsylvanians should know that LIHEAP is here for them if they need it. A warm, comfortable home is a safe and healthy home, and LIHEAP makes this possible for more than 328,000 Pennsylvanians,” said Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller.

During the 2018-19 LIHEAP season, 328,700 households statewide received $90,879,764 million in LIHEAP cash benefits with an average benefit of $276, which is paid directly to utility companies. In addition, 134,826 households statewide received $53,353,453 million in LIHEAP crisis benefits with an average benefit of $389.

“LIHEAP provides vital assistance to consumers across Pennsylvania and it is an integral part of helping at-risk families,” said Public Utility Commission Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. “Additionally, we encourage consumers to explore assistance services offered by our utilities. Together, LIHEAP and utility-run assistance programs are life-savers for hundreds-of-thousands of families every winter.”

The minimum cash benefit that can be received is $200 and the maximum is $1,000, and the minimum crisis benefit is $25 and maximum is $600. The income limit for the program is 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit. For a household of three, this would be $31,995 gross income per year and for a household of four would be $38,625 per year.

“LIHEAP helps some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens – children, older Pennsylvanians, and individuals with a disability – make ends meet as heating costs increase,” said Secretary Miller. “I encourage anyone who may be eligible, or anyone who has loved ones or neighbors that could benefit from this program, to apply.”

Applications for LIHEAP can be completed online at http://www.compass.state.pa.us or through the MyCOMPASS PA mobile app. Paper applications are available through local county assistance offices, or interested applicants can download and print an application from the department’s website.

Completed paper applications should be returned to the Allegheny County Assistance Office, located at 5947 Penn Avenue, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206.

After your application is received you will receive a written notice explaining your eligibility and the amount of assistance you will receive. Payments are generally sent directly to a utility company or fuel provider and will be credited to your heating account. Crisis grants may also be available if you have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your heat. For more information, contact the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095.

For helpful tips on keeping warm throughout the winter while saving money on utility costs, visit http://www.energysavers.gov.

For more information on LIHEAP, visit http://www.dhs.pa.gov.

 

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