Don’t let the winter cold get the best of you

We’re entering the coldest time of the year in our area, and it’s more important than ever to ensure that your heating system is working properly and your home is warm. An extended cold streak can cause serious damage to a home without heat or even cause serious health issues for those living in it.

With that in mind, I want to remind you of Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that was created to help people pay their heating bill and also help deal with unintended heating emergency. LIHEAP offers both cash and crisis grants to individuals and families that qualify.

The cash grant helps with paying heating bills. These one-time payments are sent directly to your utility company or fuel provider. Cash grants range from $200 to $1000 and are based on household income, size and fuel type.

A crisis grant may be available if you have an emergency situation and are in danger of losing your heat. You can receive more than one crisis grant, but the maximum benefit is $500 during one heating season. Crisis situations may include broken heating equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

This season’s income guidelines for LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $17,820 for one individual and increase by at least $6,200 for each additional person in the household. Last season, 345,791 households statewide received $156.3 million in LIHEAP assistance, an average of $452.

You can apply for LIHEAP online at www.compass.state.pa.us, however my office is more than willing and capable to help you with LIHEAP. To apply, you’ll need the name of every person in your household, the date of birth for all household members, the Social Security numbers for all household members, proof of income for all household members and a recent heating bill.

Please reach out to my district office by calling us at (717) 848-9595 for help. In York, you can also receive assistance filling out the application at the Salvation Army Center located at 50 E. King Street. We look forward to hearing from you about LIHEAP or any other state government-related issue.