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LIHEAP Program Summary 2016-2017

Utility Help Available to Low-Income Customers

 

The cold weather is already upon us. Energy prices are high and thousands of customers of regulated utilities are either without service or have received shut-off notices. However, there are a number of steps a low-income household can take to ease some of the hardships expected this winter.

LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, for cash, crisis and weatherizations grants will open for new applications on November 1, 2016. There are two types of LIHEAP assistance for which energy consumers may be eligible. In some cases an individual household may be eligible for both LIHEAP grants. 

 

Cash Grant Assistance—a cash grant this year will be at least $200 and runs from November 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017;  If you are without heat before November 2nd and cash grant alone is insufficient to restore your heat you may apply for a "Crisis Exception Payment".

Crisis Assistance—for those who are without heat or in immediate danger of being without heat—a grant of up to $500 is available and runs from November 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.

Also $50 Supplemental Grant for "Vulnerable Households" defined as "a household containing at least one member who is elderly (age 60 or over), or $50 if the household contains an individual with a disability, or $75 if the household contains a child age 5 and under" at the time the LIHEAP Cash application is submitted.

Heating system repair intervention—If your heating system requires some repairs to make it work properly, then the LIHEAP Crisis provider will refer you to a provider to make repairs to your heating system without charge.

Utility Programs
—Call your regulated utility such as NFG and Penelec, UGI, and Penn Power, to apply for the services they each offer:
 
Discounts for low-income customers through Customer Assistance Programs;
Usage reduction and conservation services; and
Hardship emergency funds.


Termination notices
— Utility customers of who receive shut-off notices from their public utility company are eligible for LIHEAP Crisis Grants. If you receive such a notice take it to your LIHEAP provider. The Department of Human Services will then provide a notice to you about the status of your application.

Winter protectionBetween December 1 and March 31 each year, a household living in the NWLS service area in which the income of the adults does not exceed 250% of Federal Poverty Guidelines is protected from the shut-off of utility service. To be sure you get this protection, inform your utility company about your household income level now.

Medical Certificate—If anyone in your household is ill or has a medical condition which will be aggravated by the loss of utility service, you will be protected from shut-off. You must request your doctor or a nurse practitioner to write a note to the utility company and contact your company for a payment plan. The note must be updated every 30 days. This protection may end if you fail to make the agreed upon payments.

Change of Income—If the income of the adult household members has dropped by 10%, you may be eligible to get a second payment agreement from your utility company.

Protection from Abuse Order—Inform the utility if you are protected by a Protection from Abuse Order. The utility company is not permitted to apply the new, more financially demanding rules to you and you will have a greater level of protection.


Apply Online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us

Details on Pennsylvania's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program,
visit DPW website at: 


http://www.dhs.pa.gov/citizens/heatingassistanceliheap/index.htm

 

For assistance obtaining LIHEAP benefits, contact your
local county assistance office to apply. 
If you are denied, live in northwestern Pennsylvania
and want legal assistance, contact NWLS at 800-665-6957

Disclaimer:
We have attempted to insure the accuracy of the information in this pamphlet at the time it was created or revised. However, the law does change, sometimes quickly and unexpectedly. Therefore, you should consult an attorney before taking or refraining from any action based on the information in this pamphlet.
 

Pamphlet Last Edited: November 2016