Winter weather is just around the corner. Residents who struggle with their home heating bills can now apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.
The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150% of the federal poverty income level. For a household of four, the income limit is $39,750.
Due to the availability of funds through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, there will be an increase in the minimum LIHEAP cash grant from $200 to $500 and an increase in the maximum cash grant from $1,000 to $1,500. The maximum LIHEAP crisis grant will increase from $600 to $1,200. LIHEAP is distributed directly to a household’s utility company or home heating fuel provider in the form of a grant.
Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office
• Fayette County: 724-439-7125.
The program runs through May 6, 2022.
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is also available in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to help eligible tenants cover the cost of overdue or upcoming utility and rental payments. Pennsylvanians who are responsible for paying rent or utilities on a residential property, and have one or more people within the household who has experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic that puts them at risk of homelessness or a utility shutoff, could be eligible for up to 18 months of ERAP assistance. More information is available at www.dhs.pa.gov/erap.