The Department of Public Welfare this week announced the deadline for applying for Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, will be extended more than two weeks, giving eligible households extra time to seek help paying their winter heating bills.
The federally funded LIHEAP program, which began accepting applications last November, was originally set to end March 31, but the commonwealth’s efficient management of the program has enabled it to be extended through April 15.
“We have had a difficult winter amidst a difficult economy, and programs like LIHEAP have helped Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable households endure both,” Gov. Corbett said. “By providing this extension, we will be able to help even more Pennsylvanians provide a basic necessity for their families.”
LIHEAP, administered through the Department of Public Welfare, provides cash grants to help low-income households pay for home heating fuel and crisis grants to address heating emergencies such as a furnace failure or unexpected fuel shortages.
Since the cash grant program opened last November, LIHEAP has helped more than 384,000 households pay heating bills. The crisis grant program has provided assistance to more than 88,000 households.
Cash grants are based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. Crisis grants are provided to resolve heating emergencies. 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 used.
LIHEAP applications are available at county assistance offices, local utility companies and community service agencies, such as Area Agencies on Aging or community action agencies. Applicants can call the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095, Monday through Friday. Individuals with hearing impairments may call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886.
Applications can also be submitted online.
Residents of the counties listed below should contact the agencies that operate the crisis component in their areas:
-- Allegheny - Allegheny County Department of Human Services, 800-851-3838
-- Carbon - Carbon County Action Committee, 610-377-6400
-- Luzerne - Commission on Economic Opportunity of Luzerne County, 800- 822-0359
-- Wyoming - Commission on Economic Opportunity of Wyoming Co., 570-836-4090
To ensure they have the resources to heat their homes the entire winter, LIHEAP consumers are urged to keep their thermostat set at 65 degrees unless they have young children or older adults living in the home.
For more information, visit the DPW LIHEAP webpage.