HARRISBURG, Nov. 5, 2007 – The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program — also known as LIHEAP — opened today to help Pennsylvania families and individuals who need assistance paying winter heating bills, Secretary of Public Welfare Estelle B. Richman announced.
“As home heating costs continue to rise, many families may struggle to make ends meet this winter,” said Secretary Richman. “Through the LIHEAP program, eligible families and individuals receive needed help, reducing the risk that they will be forced to choose between heating their home and paying for necessities like food or shelter.”
LIHEAP is a federally funded program administered by the Department of Public Welfare that helps low-income households pay for home heating fuel through cash grants and emergency furnace repairs through crisis grants. During the 2006-07 LIHEAP season, nearly 370,000 families were helped through cash grants and more than 133,000 families received crisis assistance.
For the 2007-08 season, a family of four with an annual income of up to $30,975 can qualify for LIHEAP.
Cash grants are based on income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. In addition to proof of income and household size, applicants must provide a recent bill or a statement from their fuel dealer verifying their customer status and the type of fuel that they use.
Crisis grants up to $300 are approved for families experiencing heating emergencies, such as mechanical breakdowns or unexpected fuel shortages.
Applications for LIHEAP are available at County Assistance Offices, local utility companies and community service agencies, such as Area Agencies on Aging or Community Action Agencies. Families can also apply for LIHEAP cash grants online at www.compass.state.pa.us.
Residents of the nine counties listed below are encouraged to contact the agencies that operate the crisis component in their areas:
- Allegheny – Allegheny County Department of Human Services, (412) 562-0330;
- Carbon – Carbon County Action Committee, (610) 377-6400
- Centre – Central PA Community Action Inc., (814) 765-1551, Millheim Community Action, (814) 349-5850, Phillipsburg Community Action Center, (814) 342-0404;
- Lackawanna – Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency, (570) 963-6836;
- Lancaster – Community Action Program of Lancaster County, (717) 299-7301;
- Luzerne – Commission on Economic Opportunity, (570) 826-0510
- Philadelphia – Department of Licenses and Inspections, (215) 686-2590;
- Wyoming – Commission on Economic Opportunity of Wyoming Co., (570) 836-4090
- York – Community Progress Council of York County, (717) 846-4600.
The LIHEAP program is also part of Governor Rendell’s Stay Warm PA initiative. Visit www.staywarmpa.com to find out more about available assistance programs, energy conservation and home weatherization tips. Stay Warm PA provides Pennsylvanians with information to find the support they may need to keep their homes warm and families safe.
For more information, call the toll-free LIHEAP Hotline at 1-866-857-7095, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) helps people meet their basic needs by providing health care and other critical support services for children, the elderly, people with chronic diseases, persons with disabilities and low income families and adults in Pennsylvania. DPW is dedicated to promoting, improving, and sustaining the quality of family life; breaking the cycle of dependency while protecting and serving Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens. Visit DPW on the Internet at: www.dpw.state.pa.us.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Household sizes and income limits for LIHEAP’s 2007-08 season are listed below.
Household Size Income Limit
(For each additional person add $5,220).