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Human Services: Home Utility Assistance is Available, Pennsylvanians Need to Apply by August 31

08/14/2020

Harrisburg, PA - Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today reminded Pennsylvanians of the availability of assistance in paying certain utility bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Recovery Crisis program ahead of the program’s end on August 31.

“We know that the COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent economic insecurity have led to trouble balancing essentials such as home energy bills. Any Pennsylvanian who is struggling to pay utilities should know that they are not alone during this time,” said Secretary Miller. “DHS administers safety-net programs to support families across the commonwealth and help them get through times like these. LIHEAP Recovery Crisis is available through the end of the month, and any Pennsylvanian having trouble paying home energy bills should apply and see if they qualify for a little extra help.”

LIHEAP helps with home energy bills, ensuring continuity of utility and other energy services for low-income Pennsylvanians. LIHEAP normally runs from November through April, but the Recovery Crisis program, running through August, can help with Pennsylvanians’ home energy bills, ensuring continuity of utility and other energy services for low-income Pennsylvanians. Assistance is available for both renters and homeowners.

The LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program will offer a crisis benefit made directly to utility companies or fuel providers to help offset costs for home utilities.

LIHEAP Recovery Crisis benefits may be available if a household:

  • Has their main or secondary energy source completely shut-off;
  • Is notified that their utility service will be shut off in the next 60 days;
  • Has broken energy equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replace;
  • Is in danger of being without fuel in 15 days or less; or,
  • Owes funds to a utility provider that would constitute a service termination if not for the Public Utility Commission’s moratorium on terminations.

LIHEAP Recovery Crisis program will run through August 31.

Applications for LIHEAP Recovery Crisis are available online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Those who prefer to submit paper applications can print from the website or request an application by phone at 1-800-692-7462 and mail it to their local County Assistance Office (CAO) or place it in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available. Dropping applications off at a CAO using the drop box can help avoid an application delay due to ongoing postal service delays. Pennsylvanians do not need to know their own eligibility in order to apply for these programs. While CAOs remain closed, work processing applications, determining eligibility, and issuing benefits continues. If you applied and were denied previously and your financial circumstances have changed, you can reapply.

Once an application for LIHEAP Crisis Recovery is approved, DHS will work with utility companies and deliverable fuel vendors to help Pennsylvanians pay utility bills and maintain access to home energy services.

“There should be no shame or stigma associated with asking for assistance, and no one should be afraid to ask for help,” said Secretary Miller. “These are incredibly challenging times, but that’s why DHS and programs like LIHEAP Recovery Crisis exist – to make difficult times a little easier so we have what we need to get by and emerge stronger on the other side.”

More information about the LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program, including income limits, can be found here.

Visit DHS’ blog, For All Of Us, to learn more about how the LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program has helped Pennsylvanians.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin James - ra-pwdhspressoffice@pa.gov

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