State officials on Monday announced the start of the application process for the 2022-23 annual Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP is a federally funded program administered by the state Department of Human Services that helps low-income residents pay their home heating bills.
Assistance is available to renters and homeowners. The application period for cash and crisis grants is open until April 28.
“LIHEAP helps some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable people — children, senior Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities and low-income families — make ends meet and keep their homes safe through the winter,” Inez Titus, Deputy Secretary State Department of Human Services. Internal Revenue Service, according to a release Monday.
LIHEAP distributes grants directly to the utility company or home heating fuel supplier, so that individuals or households do not have to repay the assistance.
While last season’s LIHEAP benefits were supplemented with additional American Rescue Plan dollars, this season the benefits will return to more traditional amounts.
The minimum LIHEAP cash grant is $300 and the maximum is $1,000.
Those in need of a LIHEAP crisis grant – a benefit for people who reach the poverty line and are at risk of having their heating services cut off, who have already had their heating service cut off, or who have used up or have less than two weeks left on their fuel supply – will be eligible for the maximum 1000 dollars.
During the 2021-2022 LIHEAP season, 329,230 households statewide received a total of approximately $187.6 million in cash assistance, with households receiving an average of $570.
Statewide, 112,029 households received more than $73 million in crisis assistance, with households receiving an average of $596.
The income limit for the program is 150% of the federal poverty line. That’s a gross income of $20,385 a year for an individual, and $41,625 a year for a family of four.
Pennsylvanians do not need to know if they are eligible to apply. Those who have previously applied and been rejected but experience a change in circumstances may reapply.
Pennsylvania residents can apply for LIHEAP and other public assistance programs online at www.compass.state.pa.us or by calling 1-866-550-4355.
On-site county office assistance services are available when customers cannot access online services or need assistance that cannot be accessed through the COMPASS website, the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling Customer Service at 215-560- 7226 for customers in Philadelphia or 1-877-395-8930 for customers in all other countries.