Heating assistance program is open

HARRISBURG — Low-income residents may apply for home heating help this winter.

Pennsylvania’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) grant program started accepting applications yesterday.

LIHEAP provides grants of up to $1,000 to help low-income families pay heating bills during the winter. It also offers crisis grants of up to $500 for families that experience heating emergencies, such as a broken furnace, fuel shortage or utility termination. The program provides this assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company.

Applications for 2016-17 LIHEAP funds will be accepted through March 31. Eligibility is set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines and is based on household size.

The income limits for both cash and crisis benefits are: $17,820 for a one-person household, $24,030 for two people, $30,240 for three people, $36,450 for four people, $42,660 for five people, $48,870 for six people, $55,095 for seven people, $61,335 for eight people, $67,575 for nine people, and $73,815 for 10 people. Larger households can add $6,240 for each additional person.

State Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Brockway) announced the LIHEAP information.

“With the winter months quickly approaching, the burden of an added expense for heating can be especially heavy on low-income families and those individuals on fixed incomes,” Scarnati said. “This program can provide a great service to those who may need assistance with heating costs. I urge residents who may be eligible and need help to apply for the LIHEAP program.”

Additional information regarding LIHEAP and other home heating assistance programs, as well as paper applications, are available through local county assistance offices and at Scarnati’s district offices. For locations and hours, visit www.senatorscarnati.com.

Online applications can be completed by visiting www.compass.state.pa.us.