May 10, 2013 — Following the estimated $30 billion in damage caused by last October's Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey announced that it is extending its crisis season and taking applications until May 31, 2013. The state's initial plan ended crisis benefits on April 30.
"We recognize the difficult times that many New Jersey families are living through, especially in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which is why we are pleased to provide emergency benefits," said Commissioner Richard Constable III of the state's LIHEAP office. "These emergency benefits will allow vulnerable New Jersey families to pay for other necessities such as food, housing, and medical expenses."
The crisis benefits are available to current LIHEAP recipients who are still struggling to pay their winter heating bills. Recipients may be eligible to receive crisis assistance if they've received a shut-off notice from their utility or cannot pay for deliverable fuel such as heating oil. New Jersey quit taking new applications for LIHEAP on April 30, 2013.
When announcing the extended crisis deadline, the Department of Community Affairs reminded people that the LIHEAP application also serves as an application for the Universal Service Fund Program, which is run by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The program helps low-income households pay for their electric and natural gas costs. LIHEAP-eligible households may also be eligible to receive USF assistance.
For more information on LIHEAP, the extended crisis season, and the Universal Service Fund, please visit http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/energy.html.
Sources: New Jersey Department of Community Affairs