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Pennsylvanians to Receive Extra $200 from LIHEAP Crisis Grant

Pennsylvanians who received a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) crisis grant last year might warm up at the news that they are receiving an additional $200.

“It turns out at the end of the LIHEAP season last year, we had enough money that we felt the need to kind of return it to those people who had the greatest need,” said Anne Bale, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Welfare.

Bale said the extra $200 will be sent directly to the crisis-clients’ utility companies.

“Once the heating season is over and the weather warms up, they may be so behind on their utility payments that the utility companies have had to shut off their electric and their heat, so this supplemental crisis payment may go toward that backlog in funding,” Bale said.

More than 122,000 households in Pennsylvania received crisis grants last year, three out of four of which include someone who is disabled, age 60 or older or have a child under age five.

Pennsylvanians are eligible for a crisis grant if they are going to or have already lost their heating source or supply of heating fuel such as coal or kerosene.

“They are in immediate danger of either running out of fuel and so they won’t be able to heat their homes or that an appliance has broken so someone needs to come in and fix an appliance in order for them to continue heating their home, so that’s considered a crisis,” Bale said.

LIHEAP gives grants to low-income households to help pay for home heating fuel during the winter months.

Bale said a family of four must make no more than $34,575 to be eligible for the program.

She said often the families are part of other Department of Public Welfare programs such as food stamps and Medicaid, but it is not a necessity.

You can apply for LIHEAP online, by calling the Hotline at 1-866-857-7095 or filling out an application at your local county assistance office.

Jess is from Elizabeth Borough, PA and is a junior at Duquesne University with a double major in journalism and public relations. She was named as a fellow in the WESA newsroom in May 2013.
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