LIHEAP Will Open Nov. 2, Crisis Program to Open Jan. 4, 2010

Ferlo Announces Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Will Open Nov. 2, Crisis Program to Open Jan. 4, 2010

Senator Jim Ferlo reminds community members that Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program will open for the 2009-10 heating season on Nov. 2.

LIHEAP provides cash grants to help low-income households pay for home heating fuel and crisis grants to address heating emergencies. While the Department of Public Welfare originally considered opening LIHEAP on Dec. 1 due to funding concerns, a recent increase in federal funding will allow it to open Nov. 2.

During the 2008-09 LIHEAP season, approximately 547,000 families were helped through cash grants and more than 202,000 families received crisis assistance.

For the upcoming heating season, the crisis portion of the program will open on Jan. 4 and not simultaneously with the cash grant program.

“For many of our families applying for both cash and crisis grants, we found that the amount of their cash grant would have exceeded the amount needed to resolve their crisis, making the crisis grant unnecessary,” said Secretary of Public Welfare Estelle B. Richman. “By focusing on the cash benefit first, we believe we can reduce the number of families who may need assistance through the crisis program.”

Cash grants are based on income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. Crisis grants are provided to resolve heating emergencies, such as furnace failures or unexpected fuel shortages. In addition to proof of income and household size, applicants must provide a recent bill or a statement from their fuel dealer verifying their customer status and the type of fuel that they use.

After the program opens for the season, applications will be available at county assistance offices, local utility companies and community service agencies, such as Area Agencies on Aging or community action agencies. Applications for LIHEAP cash grants will also be available online at

Residents of Allegheny County are encouraged to contact the Allegheny County LIHEAP at 412-562-0330., which operates the crisis component in the area. Residents of Armstrong County may contact 1-800-543-5105 and Westmoreland County may contact 1-800-905-5413.

To ensure they have the resources to heat their homes the entire winter, LIHEAP consumers are urged to keep their thermostats at 65 degrees – unless they have young children or older adults living in the home. Visit to learn about available assistance programs, energy conservation and home weatherization tips.

Household sizes and income limits for LIHEAP’s 2009-10 season are listed below. For more information, please visit my website at or contact my district office at 412-621-3006.

Household sizes and income limits:

1 — $16,245

2 — $21,855

3 — $27,465

4 — $33,075

5 — $38,685

6 — $44,295

7 — $49,905

8 — $55,515

(For each additional person add $5,610).