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NJ Offers Supplemental LIHEAP Benefit to Seniors

August 3, 2011 – Approximately 135,000 seniors and disabled households throughout New Jersey will receive help with home cooling expenses this summer through LIHEAP.

These households will receive an emergency $100 supplemental benefit to help cope with a recent heat wave. This is in addition to any winter heating assistance they may have received.

An additional 47,000 households that have recently received medically-required cooling assistance through LIHEAP will also receive a $100 supplemental benefit. Benefit distribution begins  in mid-August.

Eligible households do not need to reapply for the program to receive supplemental benefits. These funds will be issued as credits to utility accounts or issued by check, if a credit cannot be processed. The benefits are available because additional LIHEAP funding was provided by the federal government after the beginning of the LIHEAP season.

“The combination of the record-setting heat and humidity make for a dangerous situation for our elderly and disabled populations, who are most at risk during summer heat waves. These emergency funds are just one of the ways the LIHEAP program provides invaluable help to thousands of New Jersey’s most vulnerable low-income households,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa.

This is the state's second LIHEAP supplemental. In June, the DCA issued over $35.7 million in supplemental benefits to 143,000 households in the current LIHEAP assistance program year. Most of these funds went as credit directly to the household's utility account in order to provide some relief to last season’s heating bills, or this season’s air conditioning needs.

The DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources administers the LIHEAP program.  To be eligible for LIHEAP benefits, a household must be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent, and have a gross income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Source: Governor’s Office