August 30, 2013 — More than 122,000 households that received crisis heating assistance from Pennsylvania LIHEAP last winter will receive an additional $200 supplemental grant, according to an announcement by the Department of Public Welfare this week. According to the state's 2012-2103 plan, the crisis benefits awarded last winter ranged from $25 to $400.
"This supplemental federal funding will especially assist older adults and people with disabilities in paying their remaining utility bills or give them additional financial support for the coming winter," said Beverly D. Mackereth, Secretary of Public Welfare.
According to the department, approximately 76 percent of the households that received crisis funding and will receive the extra $200 contain a person who is disabled, over 60 years old, or under five years old. While the department doesn't make supplemental payments every year, this week's announcement marked a second consecutive year.
Public Welfare's Anne Bale said the agency had a "more significant surplus" this year, and it wanted to get funds to those people who most needed it during the 2012-2103 heating season. The households receiving crisis funding fit that description.
The supplemental grant will go the household's utility and can be applied to any remaining balance or serve as a credit heading into the 2013-2014 heating season. The department is sending letters to the households now, and the payment will be made in early September. The next heating season starts November 4.
Sources: Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, media reports