With cold weather just around the corner, people will begin turning on their heat and with that comes additional expenses. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly known as LIHEAP will begin accepting applications on Monday, November 2nd. This year, the Department of Human Services is prepared for an increase in need because of the pandemic.
“It helps eligible low-income individuals and families pay their heating bills. It helps some of the commonwealth’s more vulnerable individuals like children, older Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities and low-income families make ends meet and keep their homes safe through the winter,” said Secretary of Human Services, Teresa Miller.
The state’s Department of Human Services is prepared for an increase number of families applying for LIHEAP, just like they have with other federal assistance programs like Medicare and SNAP.
“We’ve been expecting to see increases all along. We’ve had contingency plans for making sure we have the people necessary to take applications, to process those applications and we have been able to meet that need so far to anticipate and hope to meet,” said Miller. “That’s our job to prepare to meet those contingencies even though so far, we haven’t seen that huge spike, but we are again still seeing more people come on and turning around applications,” she added.
Both renters and homeowners are eligible. The income limit is 150% of the federal poverty level. Along with LIHEAP, many utility companies offer additional customer help which can be used be combined with these federal grants
“The PUC encourages customers to contact their utilities for more information about various customer assistance programs or CAP programs that may be available,” explained Public Utilities Commission Chairwoman, Gladys Brown Dutrieuille.
The LIHEAP application process begins Monday, Nov. 2nd and runs through April 9th, 2021.