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Shapiro Administration Reminds Pennsylvanians to Apply for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Before Season Ends, Announces Plan to Restart Cash Grants After Federal Budget Negotiations

04/02/2024

Harrisburg, PA - Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh today reminded Pennsylvanians with low incomes who need assistance covering the cost of home heating bills to apply for LIHEAP before the end of the day on Friday, April 5, 2024. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to apply for Cash or Crisis grants. All applications will be accepted and considered through April 5, 2024. Approved Cash and Crisis payments will continue to be distributed, even after the application period closes. 

“The LIHEAP season will remain open until April 5 so if you or someone you know could benefit from this resource, I encourage you to apply today,” said Secretary Arkoosh. “LIHEAP helps some of our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians stay warm and safe in their homes. We look forward to restarting Cash payments soon and provide Pennsylvanians the peace of mind of knowing that their heat will not be shut off.”  

DHS initiated a pause of Cash payments in early March while the Commonwealth waited for full authorization from the U.S. Congress for the remaining $21 million in federal LIHEAP funding that was delayed by federal budget negotiations. With the passage of the continuing resolution at the end of last month, DHS will receive the remaining LIHEAP allocation and will restart Cash payments soon. Once funds become available, DHS will resume LIHEAP Cash payments for the remainder of the 2023-24 LIHEAP season.  LIHEAP Crisis payments have and will continue to be issued to ensure individuals most at risk do not lose essential home energy services. DHS has been accepting and reviewing all applications for LIHEAP while Cash grants are paused. Once funds become available, DHS will resume LIHEAP Cash payments for the remainder of the 2023-24 LIHEAP season. Throughout the temporary pause, LIHEAP Crisis payments were issued to ensure individuals most at risk did not lose essential home energy services. DHS continued to accept and review all applications for LIHEAP while Cash grants were paused.  

LIHEAP is a federally funded program administered by DHS that helps with home heating bills through Cash and Crisis grants so Pennsylvanians with low incomes can stay warm and safe during the winter months. The LIHEAP season remains open through April 5, 2024, and Pennsylvanians are encouraged to apply. 

LIHEAP is distributed directly to a household’s utility company or home heating fuel provider in the form of a grant, so the individual or households do not have to repay assistance. While last season’s LIHEAP benefits were supplemented by additional American Rescue Plan funds, this season’s benefits will return to more traditional amounts. The minimum LIHEAP cash grant for the 2023-2024 season is $300, and the maximum cash grant is $1,000.  

The LIHEAP crisis grant is for people who meet the income limits and are in jeopardy of having their heating utility service terminated, have a broken heating equipment, have already had their heating utility service terminated, or who are out of or have less than two weeks’ worth of deliverable fuel, such as fuel oil, propane, coal, or wood. The minimum LIHEAP crisis grant for the 2023-2024 season is $25, and the maximum crisis grant is $1,000. 

Pennsylvanians can apply for LIHEAP and other public assistance programs online at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS  or by submitting a paper application to your local county assistance office by fax, mail or in person. Pennsylvanians do not need to know their own eligibility to apply for these programs. Those who have applied and were denied previously but have experienced a change in circumstances can reapply. The 2023-2024 LIHEAP season is scheduled to close April 5, 2024. 

More information about LIHEAP is available at www.dhs.pa.gov/liheap.   

MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina - ra-pwdhspressoffice@pa.gov

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