Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today
announced a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Recovery
Crisis Program to help Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 public health
crisis. Beginning this month, DHS will work with utility companies and
deliverable fuel vendors to help Pennsylvanians at risk of losing access
to electric, natural gas or deliverable fuels such as oil, pay utility
bills and maintain access to home energy services.
LIHEAP provides assistance for home energy bills, helping ensure
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 and a
supplemental payment for households that previously received a crisis
payment made directly to utility companies or fuel providers to help
offset costs for home utilities.
LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program will open on May 18 and run through Aug.
31, or until all budgeted funding is expended. The LIHEAP Recovery
Crisis maximum benefit will be $800 for this period. Eligibility
guidelines will be the same as those used during the 2019-20 LIHEAP
season, and DHS will permit a file transfer agreement with utility
providers to allow a utility to submit a LIHEAP Recovery Crisis
application on behalf of a consenting household, provided the household
has already received LIHEAP Cash to the utility during the regular
season. Utility terminations are prohibited for the duration of the
Governor’s disaster declaration, but past due balances can be submitted
as proof of Recovery Crisis eligibility if the utility company confirms
that the balance would result in a termination if the moratorium was not
DHS will also automatically issue a $100 supplemental payment to
approximately 100,000 households that received LIHEAP Crisis funds
during the 2019-20 season. Any household that has not reached the
maximum benefit in the 2019-20 season can apply for additional
assistance up to the $800 maximum limit. More information about LIHEAP
and household income eligibility is available