Department of Human Services secretary Teresa Miller, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission chairman Gladys M. Brown, LIHEAP Advisory Committee chairman Patrick Cicero, and representatives from local utility companies announced the start of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program application process for the 2018-19 season at the United Way of York County.
LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safe during the winter months. Assistance is available for renters and homeowners. Crisis and regular LIHEAP applications begin Nov. 1 and end April 12, 2019.
“Everyone deserves a safe, warm home that helps them stay healthy and comfortable throughout the winter,” said secretary Miller. “LIHEAP helped make this possible for more than 340,000 Pennsylvanians last year. That number includes thousands of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens — children, older Pennsylvanians, and individuals with a disability – helping them make ends meet as heating costs increase.”
During the 2017-18 LIHEAP season, 344,008 households statewide received $115,936,887 million in LIHEAP cash benefits. These households received an average season benefit of $337. LIHEAP benefits are paid directly to the utility company.
“LIHEAP is an important tool for helping Pennsylvania families stay warm and safe during the winter, and the PUC has a long history of supporting this important service,” said PUC chairman Brown. “Now is the time for consumers to enroll in LIHEAP and to explore other assistance programs available from their utilities and various non-profit groups. Combined, these many different resources help hundreds of thousands of households and families across the commonwealth every year.”
On Oct. 24, the LIHEAP Turn-On Program prevented 16,547 homes from having their utilities turned off. The Turn-On Program paid $4,732,471.58 to 19 utility companies in the commonwealth to prevent the shut offs. The individuals in the program are those who received LIHEAP during the 2016-17 season, and had a threat of a shut off or had their utilities shut off. The program’s goal is to prevent LIHEAP customers from entering the winter season with shut off utilities.
Eligibility for the 2018-19 LIHEAP season is set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. The chart below shows the maximum income allowed for eligibility based on household size.
Online applications for LIHEAP can be completed at www.compass.state.pa.us. Paper applications are available through local county assistance offices, or interested applicants can download and print an application from the department’s website.
For helpful tips on keeping warm throughout the winter while saving money on utility costs, visit www.energysavers.gov.
For more information on LIHEAP, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.