Assistance for utilities gets boost in funding

A Pennsylvania program designed to help low-income residents pay their utility bills will receive an additional $52.3 million in federal funding, the state Department of Public Welfare announced Friday.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program runs until March 31, providing cash grants for help paying heating costs and crisis grants for heating emergencies.

The extra funding brings Pennsylvania's LIHEAP total to $209.5 million for this season. The program has helped nearly 270,000 households with cash grants and nearly 55,000 with crisis grants so far this season. Unseasonably warm weather has meant fewer applications this year.

The minimum cash benefit that recipients may receive is now $100, and the maximum crisis grant amount is $300.

Applications for LIHEAP grants can be found at or downloaded from the Department of Public Welfare website at and then returned to the county assistance office.

Residents may also apply in person at county assistance offices.

The Allegheny County phone numbers for LIHEAP applications are 412-562-0330 for cash grants and 1-800-851-3838 for crisis grants.

First Published 2012-02-24 23:15:05