A number states across the country are opening their LIHEAP application periods this week.
They include Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Kentucky. Several of these states, including Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana, had been taking early applications from vulnerable households.
Pennsylvania is opening amid criticism because it decided to lower its income maximum back to 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines, after increasing it to 60 percent of state median income last year. It also decided to delay opening its crisis component until January 4, instead of its traditional opening the first week of November.
In North Carolina the state takes applications for only a two-week period, from November 2 through November 13; it then begins taking crisis assistance applications November 16. Kentucky is open through December 11, and its crisis assistance component begins in January. Most of the other states intend to take applications through March or April, or until funding runs out.
Ohio’s crisis program began this week, offering help to those who face disconnected utility service or who have a limited supply of bulk fuels.
In Georgia applications will be accepted this month from people who are medically homebound or disabled and households where all members are age 65 years or older. Applications for the general public begin December 1.
Source: state plans, newspapers