The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Pennsylvanians encouraged to apply early for help with home heating bills


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, has begun accepting new applications for the coming winter. LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safe during the winter months.
“LIHEAP continues to be part of our core welfare programs offering assistance to millions of Pennsylvania families and individuals to help them make ends meet,” Department of Public Welfare Secretary Gary D. Alexander said. “We are encouraging all who are able to apply online this year, a new effort to provide better customer service and reduce costs.”
Online applications can be completed by visiting www.compass.state.pa.us. Paper applications are still available through local county assistance offices, or interested applicants can download and print an application from the department’s website.
“The LIHEAP program is available to all eligible Pennsylvanians,” Secretary Alexander said. “However, each January and February we see a large influx of applications, which slows down the approval process. If you feel you are eligible for LIHEAP, don’t wait; apply early.”
Eligibility guidelines for the 2012-13 LIHEAP season are the same as last year and are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. The chart below shows the maximum income allowed for eligibility based on household size. Each additional person in the household adds $5,940 to the maximum income allowed for eligibility.
Household size Maximum Income
1 $16,755
2 $22,695
3 $28,635
4 $34,575
5 $40,515
6 $46,455
7 $52,395
8 $58,335
9 $64,275
10$70,215
For helpful tips on how to keep your home warm throughout the winter, while saving money on utility costs, the department suggests visiting www.energysavers.gov.
For more information on the LIHEAP program, or to download an application, visit the Department of Public Welfare website at www.dpw.state.pa.us and click on “For Adults.”
Pennsylvanians who suspect welfare fraud should call 1-800-932-0582.