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Wolf administration launches LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program to ease utility costs for Pennsylvanians affected by COVID-19 crisis

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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.
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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 in place.

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 https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Assistance/Pages/LIHEAP.aspx.

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