Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Will Open Nov. 2
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Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Will Open Nov. 2 Crisis program will open Jan. 4, 2010 HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program will open for the 2009-10 heating season on Nov. 2, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today. LIHEAP provides cash grants to help low-income households pay for home heating fuel and crisis grants to address heating emergencies. While the Department of Public Welfare originally considered opening LIHEAP on Dec. 1 due to funding concerns, a recent increase in federal funding will allow it to open Nov. 2. "As many Pennsylvania families continue to struggle, the LIHEAP program will help provide some much needed relief and help to keep families warm and safe," said Governor Rendell. "We are grateful to the Obama Administration for authorizing additional funding for this important program." "We are pleased we were able to restore the opening of the program to November this year and remain committed to stretching the dollars as far as possible to reach families in need," said Secretary of Public Welfare Estelle B. Richman. During the 2008-09 LIHEAP season, approximately 547,000 families were helped through cash grants and more than 202,000 families received crisis assistance. For the upcoming heating season, the crisis portion of the program will open on Jan. 4 and not simultaneously with the cash grant program. "For many of our families applying for both cash and crisis grants, we found that the amount of their cash grant would have exceeded the amount needed to resolve their crisis, making the crisis grant unnecessary," Secretary Richman said. "By focusing on the cash benefit first, we believe we can reduce the number of families who may need assistance through the crisis program." Cash grants are based on income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. Crisis grants are provided 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. After the program opens for the season, applications will be 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 will also be available online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Residents of the counties listed below are encouraged to contact the agencies that operate the crisis component in their areas: -- Allegheny - Allegheny County Department of Human Services, (800) 851-3838; -- Carbon - Carbon County Action Committee, (610) 377-6400; -- Centre - Central PA Community Action Agency, (814) 765-1551 or Millheim Family Service Center, (814) 349-5850 or (800) 822-2610; -- Lackawanna - Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency, (570) 963-6836; -- Lancaster - Community Action Program of Lancaster County, (800) 732-0018; -- Luzerne - Commission on Economic Opportunity of Luzerne County, (800) 822-0359; -- Wyoming - Commission on Economic Opportunity of Wyoming Co., (570) 836-4090 To ensure they have the resources to heat their homes the entire winter, LIHEAP consumers are urged to keep their thermostats at 65 degrees - unless they have young children or older adults living in the home. Visit www.turnsealsave.org to learn about available assistance programs, energy conservation and home weatherization tips. Media Contacts: Stacey Witalec, DPW; 717-787-4592 Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116 Editor's Note: Household sizes and income limits for LIHEAP's 2009-10 season are listed below. 1 -- $16,245 2 -- $21,855 3 -- $27,465 4 -- $33,075 5 -- $38,685 6 -- $44,295 7 -- $49,905 8 -- $55,515 (For each additional person add $5,610). SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Stacey Witalec, DPW, +1-717-787-4592; or Gary Tuma, Governor's Office, +1-717-783-1116
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