Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh announced the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) season has been extended from April 28 to May 12. Acting Secretary Arkoosh urged Pennsylvanians who are behind on or having trouble paying home heating bills to apply for LIHEAP Cash and LIHEAP Crisis benefits before the new deadline.
“The LIHEAP season is now closing for the year on May 12, so Pennsylvanians who may still need help with their heating bills from this winter should apply now,” said Arkoosh. “LIHEAP helps some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens – children, older Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities, and low-income families – make ends meet and keep their homes safer. If you are still having trouble paying your heating bills, please apply by May 12 so LIHEAP can help ease this burden.”
LIHEAP is a federally-funded program administered by DHS that provides assistance for home heating bills so low-income Pennsylvanians can stay warm and safe in their homes. The program offers LIHEAP cash grants to help reduce a household’s monthly heating bill and LIHEAP crisis grants to help with heating emergencies; assistance is available for renters and homeowners.
The minimum LIHEAP cash grant is $300, and the maximum cash grant is $1,000. This year every household that qualifies for a LIHEAP cash grant will also receive a one-time $150 LIHEAP supplement approximately one to two months after their initial LIHEAP cash grant is issued.
The LIHEAP crisis grant, with a maximum of $2,000, is a benefit for people who meet the poverty limits and are in jeopardy of having their heating utility service terminated, have already had their heating utility service terminated, or who are out of or have less than two weeks’ worth of deliverable fuel, such as fuel oil, propane, coal, or wood. The LIHEAP crisis grant is distributed directly to a household’s utility company or home heating fuel provider in the form of a grant, so the individual or households do not have to repay assistance.
The income limit for the program is 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit. For a household of four, this would be $45,000 gross income per year. Pennsylvanians do not need to know their own eligibility in order to apply for these programs, and those who applied and were denied previously but have experienced a change in circumstances can reapply.
Pennsylvanians can apply for LIHEAP and other public assistance programs online at www.compass.state.pa.us. On-site County Assistance Office (CAO) services are available if clients cannot access online services or need assistance that cannot be accessed through the COMPASS website, the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling the Customer Service Centers at 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia clients or 1-877-395-8930 for clients in all other counties.