Applications for heating help through LIHEAP open through April |

Applications for heating help through LIHEAP open through April

Stephen Huba

Applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the 2019-20 winter season are being accepted by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

LIHEAP provides assistance to people who struggle to pay heating bills during the winter. Assistance is available to renters and homeowners, and benefits are paid directly to the utility company. Applications for 2019-20 will be accepted through April 10— or earlier if funds run out.

Eligibility for LIHEAP is set at 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines, which, for an individual, is $18,735 and, for a family of four, is $38,625.

During the 2017-18 winter, 344,008 households statewide received nearly $116 million in LIHEAP cash benefits, according to the state Department of Human Services. Those households received an average season benefit of $337.

For the 2019-20 winter heating season, the minimum LIHEAP grant is $200. LIHEAP crisis grants also are available to gas customers who have fallen behind on their utility bills and can provide up to $600 in additional assistance.

Online applications for LIHEAP can be completed at Paper applications are available through local county assistance offices, or interested applicants can download and print an application from the DHS website.

Pittsburgh-based Peoples Gas has an online eligibility tool to help fixed- and limited-income customers find assistance with winter heating bills. The Peoples ProgramFinder takes confidential household income information and connects customers to LIHEAP and other programs for which they may qualify.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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