The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal grant program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills. This year, all three LIHEAP programs will begin on November 1, 2016 and run through May 31,2017:
Cash grants provide one-time assistance and are based on household size and income. For applicants found eligible, a payment is sent directly to their utility company or fuel provider and will be credited on the bill. The Cash grant amounts range from a minimum of $200 to the maximum of $1,000.
Crisis grants may be available in emergency situations in which an applicant is in jeopardy of losing heat in the home. Emergency situations include termination of utility service, lack of fuel, danger of being without fuel or of having utility service terminated (received shut-off notice).
The Crisis grant amounts for those who are eligible range from a minimum of $25 to the maximum of $500, and cannot exceed the amount necessary to resolve the crisis situation. However, a household may receive more than one Crisis grant per season if the $500 maximum is not exceeded.
Through the Crisis Weatherization program, homes are made warmer and more energy efficient. The measures for which Weatherization agencies will be responsible under the LIHEAP Crisis program are as follows:
- Purchase of a new heating system – if documentation is provided that the heating system cannot be repaired or repairs will correct the problem only temporary.
- Pipe thawing services – if the household has a consistent program with freezing pipes that cannot be repaired by a plumber and is related to heating in the house.
- Repair of a broken furnace – this may include filter replacement and chimney cleaning or repair.
- Repair of a water-heating system – this includes repair of water pumps and accessories, if the system is essential for producing home heat.
- Repair of gas or other fuel lines when the lines feed the main heating source.
- The repair of broken windows – this is only allowable if the heating system is also being repaired or replaced.
- Loan an auxiliary heater; provide blankets.
Weatherization agencies may weatherize a building containing rental dwelling units wherein occupants meet the income eligibility requirements and where written permission of the owner or authorized agent is obtained.
To apply for LIHEAP, visit a local County Assistance Office. Click here to search our database for the location nearest you, or dial 2-1-1 to speak to a call specialist 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can also apply online at www.compass.state.pa.us.