has announced a two-week extension of LIHEAP (the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program), which will mean that the program will end on April 16 instead of April 2. Through LIHEAP, families can receive cash grants to pay for home heating fuel and crisis grants for heating emergencies.
According to the Commonwealth, LIHEAP has helped 382,046 families through cash grants and 111,178 households with crisis grants. By comparison, in the 2008-2009 fiscal year, LIHEAP served 547,302 applicants with cash grants and 202,533 with crisis grants. Income eligibility for the program changed between the 2008-2009 season and the 2009-2010 season. In 2008, families earning below 210 percent of the Federal Poverty Level- or about $44,520 for a family of four- could access the program. This year, only families earning below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($33,075 for a family of four) can access it.
If you are in need of heating assistance, you can find applications at county assistance offices, local utility companies and community service agencies. There is also a LIHEAP hotline (1-866-857-7095; TDD 1-800-451-5886) open Monday through Friday. Applications can also be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. To see if you qualify, visit the Department of Public Welfare's LIHEAP site. Individuals living in Philadelphia interested in being prescreened for LIHEAP and other programs may call PathWays PA at 215-387-1470, and those in Delaware County can call PathWays PA at 610-543-5022.
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