Corman: Home Heating Program Expanded for Low-Income Families

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been expanded to help more low-income families stay warm this winter, according to Senator Jake Corman (R-Centre).

The federally funded LIHEAP helps income-eligible households pay for heat during the winter months and is administered by the Department of Public Welfare (DPW).

“This year, cash grant have increased by $100 and the program has been extended from March 15 to April 2,” Corman said. “This will provide much needed assistance to an additional 80,000 families who are struggling to make ends meet during this cold winter.”

Should the federal government release additional contingency funds as it has done in previous years, Corman said Pennsylvania would be positioned to increase grant amounts to vulnerable households – those over 60, with a disability or with children aged five and under.

DPW expects to assist approximately 600,000 families with cash grants during the 2009-2010 program year, and cash grants for the current season are expected to average $326.

DPW will provide LIHEAP crisis grants to approximately 126,000 households this season. Crisis grants are offered to resolve heating emergencies, such as furnace failures or unexpected fuel shortages. 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.

Applications are available at county assistance offices, local utility companies and community service agencies, such as Area Agencies on Aging or community action agencies. Applications for LIHEAP cash grants are available online at www.compass.state.pa.us.

CONTACT:
Anna Fitzsimmons
Phone: (717) 787-1377