Heating assistance program accepting applications

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program application process for the 2016-17 season kicked off on Tuesday.

LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm during winter, according to a press release from the state Department of Human Services.

Eligibility for LIHEAP is set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, according to the release.

For a household with one member, the maximum income is $17,820. Each additional household member adds $6,240 to the maximum income allowed for eligibility, the release said.

“This federally funded program provided hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians a warm place to live during last winter,” Ted Dallas, secretary of DHS, said in the release. “... The administration is proud of the work the program provides and encourages recipients who need assistance with heating bills to apply before the worst of the winter weather arrives.”

According to a release from state Rep. Mike Hanna’s office, there are two types of assistance: cash grants and crisis grants.

Cash grants — sent directly to the utility company — help with home heating bills, while crisis grants help with emergency situations, such as a broken furnace or an unexpected fuel shortage, the release said.

Locally, once eligible residents apply for LIHEAP, they can also receive assistance from the Centre County Fuel Bank in an emergency situation.

There is an educational component associated with the fuel bank, in the form of a budgeting or energy conservation class.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

LIHEAP application

▪ Online applications can be found at www.compass.state.pa.us

▪ Paper applications are available through the Centre County local assistance office, located at 2580 Park Center Blvd. in State College