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Heating bill assistance program now accepting applications

Allyson Ruggieri
90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

LIHEAP helps families with low incomes pay their heating bills. Though the program is federally funded, it’s administered by the DHS, which sends cash grants directly to utility companies and fuel providers and credited towards families’ bills.

“LIHEAP helps some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable people – children, older Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities, and families with low incomes – make ends meet and keep their home safe through the winter,” DHS Office of Income Maintenance Deputy Secretary Inez Titussaid in a statement. “Nobody should ever have to worry that their heat will be shut off during the coldest and darkest months of the year, so I encourage anyone who may need help, or anyone who has loved ones or neighbors who could benefit from this program, to apply for LIHEAP today.”

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The grant amounts are based on household size, income, and fuel type. They do not have to be repaid and are available for both renters and homeowners. Crisis grants are also available for households in “immediate danger of being without heat,” according to the DHS.

“Working together, LIHEAP and various PUC-required utility assistance programs help hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania households stay connected, safe and warm,” said Public Utility Commission Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille.

Last winter, 329,230 Pennsylvania households received $187,600,202 in LIHEAP cash benefits, officials at the DHS said. Statewide, 112,029 households received $73,027,268 in LIHEAP crisis benefits.

To qualify for LIHEAP, applicants must meet the income limit for the program, which is 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit. For a family of four, that’s a gross income of $41,625 per year.

Officials said people do not need to know if they are eligible to apply for the program. People who applied before and were denied, but have since had a change in circumstances are encouraged to reapply.

The LIHEAP application period for both cash and crisis grants is open from Nov. 1, 2022, to April 28, 2023. Find more information about the application and applyhere.

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at