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Friday, October 24, 2008

Home Heating Assistance Program to Begin Accepting Applications, Says Causer

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) is reminding residents who are struggling to pay home-heating costs this winter that applications for Pennsylvania’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be available starting Nov. 3.

LIHEAP, which is funded primarily by the federal government and administered by the state Department of Public Welfare (DPW), helps low-income households pay their heating bills and provides assistance to individuals in danger of losing heat due to emergency situations.
Income eligibility for the 2008-09 LIHEAP season was expanded to 210 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guideline. As a result, nearly 80,000 more Pennsylvanians will be eligible to receive help paying their heating bills this winter through the cash grant portion of the LIHEAP program.
This year, a family of four with an annual income of up to $44,443 can qualify for LIHEAP. The guidelines are updated annually and published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
People do not need to have unpaid bills in order to receive energy assistance, and they can receive this assistance without being on welfare.
If a person is eligible for LIHEAP, a payment will be sent directly to the utility or fuel dealer, and the payment credited to the person’s bill.
Additionally, crisis grants are available through LIHEAP in the event of a dire emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing their heat. Examples include broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced, lack of fuel, termination of utility service or danger of being without fuel or of having utility service terminated.
To apply for LIHEAP, call or visit the local county assistance office to set up an appointment. Residents should be sure to apply in their home counties and are reminded they need the following to obtain assistance:
  • Names of people in the household.
  • Dates of birth for people in household.
  • Social Security numbers for all household members.
  • Proof of income for members of household.
  • A copy of a recent heating bill.
For more information, contact the appropriate county assistance office:
  • Cameron County -- 814-486-3757.
  • McKean County -- 814-362-4671.
  • Potter County -- 814-274-4900.
Assistance is also available by calling the toll-free LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095 (individuals with hearing impairments may call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886). Internet users can access additional information at Causer’s Web site at RepCauser.com.
Rep. Martin T. Causer
67th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(814) 362-4400
(717) 787-5075

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