Pennsylvania's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to Open on Nov. 2

Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:08pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Crisis program will open Jan. 4, 2010

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The federally-funded
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, will accept
applications for cash grants starting Nov. 2, Secretary of Public Welfare
Estelle B. Richman today reminded Pennsylvanians.

LIHEAP provides cash grants to help low-income households pay for home heating
fuel. A crisis grant component to address heating emergencies will open Jan.
4, 2010.

"As many Pennsylvanians continue to struggle as a result of the economic
downturn, the opening of the LIHEAP program will bring relief when families
need it the most," said Secretary Richman.  "We encourage families to learn
about the program so they can stay warm and safe throughout the coldest months
of the year."

During the 2008-09 LIHEAP season, approximately 547,000 families were helped
through cash grants and more than 202,000 families received crisis assistance.

Cash grants are based on income, family size, type of heating fuel and region.
Crisis grants are provided to resolve heating emergencies or unexpected fuel
shortages. In addition to proof of income, residency, citizenship, birth dates
and Social Security Numbers for all household members, 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.

When the program opens, 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 Applicants
may also call 1-866-857-7095.

Residents of the counties listed below should contact the agencies that
operate the crisis component in their areas:
    --  Allegheny - Allegheny County Department of Human Services, (800)
    --  Carbon - Carbon County Action Committee, (610) 377-6400;
    --  Centre - Central PA Community Action Agency, (814) 765-1551 or
        Family Service Center, (814) 349-5850 or (800) 822-2610;
    --  Lackawanna - Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency, (570)
    --  Lancaster - Community Action Program of Lancaster County, (800)
    --  Luzerne - Commission on Economic Opportunity of Luzerne County, (800)

    --  Wyoming - Commission on Economic Opportunity of Wyoming Co., (570)

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 to learn about available assistance programs, energy
conservation and home weatherization tips.

Media contact: 
Stacey Witalec, 717-787-4592

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 Department of Public Welfare

Stacey Witalec of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare,
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