Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and Public Utility Commission (PUC) today announced the launch of the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), which will help Pennsylvanians with low incomes maintain access to drinking and wastewater services. Applications for LIHWAP open tomorrow, January 4, 2022.
“Access to clean drinking water and wastewater services that keep our homes safe are important to our daily lives and a family’s ongoing health and wellbeing,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians who are at risk of losing these essential services to apply as soon as possible when the water assistance program opens on January 4.”
“As part of our #CallUtilitiesNow campaign, the PUC strongly encourages consumers to learn more about LIHWAP, since direct conversations between customers and utilities about eligible programs are the best ‘first step’ for any Pennsylvania households or businesses struggling to #KeepUtilitiesOn,” PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. "The launch of the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program is a great opportunity to start the new year secure and connected.”
Assistance is available for families who have past due water bills, had their service terminated, or received a notice indicating that their service will be terminated in the next 60 days. Households can receive LIHWAP grants for both drinking water service and wastewater service. Grants are issued directly to water service providers, and families must meet income requirements. Pennsylvanians should have the following information ready to include in their application:
Names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth for all people in their household;
Proof of income for the applicant and all household members; and,
A recent water bill.
Receiving utility assistance through another program like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) does not prevent a household from receiving assistance through LIHWAP as long as the applicant meets LIHWAP eligibility criteria. Income guidelines for the program are as follows:
More information and promotional materials for LIHWAP are available online. DHS encourages Pennsylvanians to help spread the word so those who need help know the program is available.
LIHWAP is a new, temporary assistance program established through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. These funds are part of the nation’s continued response to families experiencing financial difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania received approximately $43.2 million to assist families who have lost or are at risk of losing water service in their homes.
Applications for LIHWAP, LIHEAP, and ERAP as well as other public assistance programs that can provide health care, food, and cash assistance can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. DHS’ County Assistance Offices (CAO) are available for in-person support if clients cannot access online services or need assistance or information that is not on the COMPASS website or the myCOMPASS PA mobile app. Pennsylvanians can also request a paper application or get help applying for assistance by calling the Customer Service Centers at 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia clients or 1-877-395-8930 for clients in all other counties.
All Pennsylvanians experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, a lost job, or a change in income are strongly encouraged to apply and see if they qualify for assistance with food, health care, and other essential needs.
Learn more about LIHWAP at www.dhs.pa.gov/waterhelp.
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