Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Home Energy Assistance

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services announces that the Pennsylvania Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will open its CRISIS centers on November 3, 2008, with a tentative closing date of March 31, 2009.

During the cold weather season, LIHEAP CRISIS provides assistance to low-income households experiencing heating emergencies, including service terminations, needed deliverable fuels – heating oil, propane and kerosene – and heating system and fuel line repairs and replacements.

In order to qualify for the LIHEAP CRISIS Program, an applicant must have an emergency situation and a household income at or less than 210 percent of the federal poverty income level – up from the original 150 percent of the federal poverty income level. For a family of two, this income eligibility requirement would represent an annual income of $30,221.

The Commonwealth also increased the amount of LIHEAP grants. The minimum cash grant will increase from $100 to $300, and residents in need of CRISIS assistance will see their maximum grant rise from $300 to $800.

To be determined eligible for LIHEAP, the applicant must provide a termination notice or letter from the utility company stating that the utility has been shut off, proof of social security numbers for all household members, and proof of gross income for a minimum of the last 90 days (more in some situations) for all household members.

For more information about the LIHEAP CRISIS Program, call the Allegheny County Department of Human Services TOLL FREE at 1-800-851-3838 or visit the Utility Assistance page on the DHS web site: www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/utility.aspx.

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