State officials announced Monday that they will begin accepting applications Nov. 1 for an annual program that helps pay home heating bills.

Poor people The Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to help low-income families heat their homes during the winter months.

“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 during the winter,” said Deputy Secretary of the Department of Conservation of DHS Ines Titus. “No one should ever have to worry about their heating being turned off during the coldest, darkest months of the year.”

The 2022-23 LIHEAP season begins, which many Americans are facing rising up electricity bills at home due to inflation and Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

“Too often we hear about hard-working people making compromises, such as not filling prescriptions, skipping meals or refusing to seek medical care, to pay for a roof over their heads,” said Jennifer Wintermeyer, chief executive officer of Tri-County Community Action . . “LIHEAP makes it easier for low-income families to secure a warm home without these trade-offs.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services reports that during the 2021-2022 LIHEAP season, 329,230 households statewide received $187,600,202 in LIHEAP cash benefits, and these households received an average of $570.

Statewide, 112,029 households received $73,027,268 in LIHEAP crisis assistance, and those households received an average of $596, according to DHS.

PUC officials urged Pennsylvanians who are struggling to pay their utility bills to contact the companies to find out what options are available to them.

“Be sure to call all utilities: electric, natural gas, water, sewer and telecommunications, because each may have different programs or resources available,” said PUC Vice Chairman Stephen DeFrank.

Pennsylvanians can apply for LIHEAP online or by calling 1-866-550-4355.

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