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LIHEAP FAQ Sheets

Table of Contents 

What Is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program?

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides assistance for energy costs to low-income households. LIHEAP is a federal program that is administered by individual states, territories, and tribes. In Pennsylvania, LIHEAP is administered by the Department of Human Services.

Learn more about LIHEAP by reviewing the federal program fact sheet here.

For more information about LIHEAP in Pennsylvania, click here.

What Does LIHEAP Cover in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for heating expenses to qualified households. Financial assistance can include payment for:

  • Past-due utility bills
  • Deliverable fuel
  • Disconnection/reconnection fees
  • Repairs and replacements of worn parts on heating units
  • Home weatherization

For more information about LIHEAP’s heating assistance initiative in Pennsylvania, see the Pennsylvania state 2022 LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.

Pennsylvania’s LIHEAP program does not provide financial compensation for cooling expenses.

About LIHEAP Crisis Assistance

LIHEAP Crisis Assistance, like standard LIHEAP benefits, is a cash grant provided to the utility companies of eligible individuals in certain situations.

If your household meets all the eligibility requirements above and has an energy-related crisis, you may qualify for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance.

The state of Pennsylvania defines a “crisis situation” as one where a household:

  • Has no more than 15 days of bulk fuel left,
  • Broken heating equipment or lines that must be replaced or repaired,
  • Is in danger of having their utilities disconnected, or
  • Has already had their utilities disconnected by their service provider.

For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is $1,200.

Learn more about Crisis Assistance on page 12 of the Detailed Model Plan here.

How Much Assistance Does LIHEAP Provide in Pennsylvania?

To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services will consider:

  1. Your household size and income for the month prior to your application
  2. The fuel type you need (electricity, propane, natural gas, or heating oil)

Also, whether you are eligible for regular LIHEAP payments or Crisis Assistance payments will influence your maximum benefit amount.

As of 2022, the maximum annual benefit amount for heating in Pennsylvania is $1,500 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $500.

How to Qualify for LIHEAP in Pennsylvania

To qualify for LIHEAP in Pennsylvania, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of the state
  • At least one household member must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident
  • Have an out-of-pocket energy expense from an account opened in the name of the head of the household or their spouse
  • Have an annual income that is less than the LIHEAP income limit for your household size. To view the annual income limits, click here.

Learn more about the LIHEAP financial eligibility requirements in Pennsylvania here.

If you or a member of your family participates in the benefit programs below, then you may automatically be eligible for LIHEAP based on your income:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Learn more here.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Learn more here.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Learn more here.

How to Apply for LIHEAP in Pennsylvania

Eligible households can apply for LIHEAP assistance usually from October 18th until May 6th each year. LIHEAP applications cannot be submitted year-round.

To apply for LIHEAP in Pennsylvania, complete the following three steps:

  1. Gather the documentation and information you will need for the application.

Learn what documents and information you need to complete the process here.

  1. Choose how you are going to apply, whether online, in person, or by mail.

To apply for LIHEAP online, complete the online application through COMPASS here.

To apply for LIHEAP in person, visit your local County Assistance Office. Find your nearest office and contact information here. You may need to make an appointment in advance.

To apply for LIHEAP by mail, download the LIHEAP or contact the Pennsylvania LIHEAP Hotline at (866) 857-7095 to request that an application be mailed to you. Complete the application and mail it to your local County Assistance Office, and you can find contact information here.

  1. Submit the LIHEAP application and other required documents.

Access the Pennsylvania LIHEAP application here.

If you have questions about the application process or require assistance, contact your nearest County Assistance Office (CAO). Find your nearest CAO office here.

What You Will Need to Apply

When applying for Pennsylvania LIHEAP benefits, you will need to provide:

  • Personal and financial information about yourself and the members of your household
  • Details about your home and its heating

The state will need the following documents and information to confirm your eligibility for LIHEAP benefits:

  • Names, birth dates and Social Security numbers for all household members
  • Your most recent heating bill
  • Income verification (pay stubs)

Learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process here.

How to Check Your Application Status

You can call the County Assistance Office where you applied directly to check your application status. You may also call the Pennsylvania LIHEAP Hotline at (866) 857-7095. 

Click here to find your local office and contact information.

What Happens After You Apply for LIHEAP in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services will notify you within 30 days of receiving your application if you are approved to receive benefits. All LIHEAP payments are made to the heating or energy provider directly. Benefit payments will not be sent to you.

How to Appeal a Denial of Benefits

If you are denied Pennsylvania LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by contacting your local County Assistance Office (CAO) within 30 days after you receive the denial. Find your nearest local CAO office here.

If you have questions about the appeal process, contact the Pennsylvania LIHEAP Hotline at (866) 857-7095.

Need More Help?

If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in Pennsylvania or require further assistance, contact your local County Assistance Office. Find your nearest County Assistance Office (CAO) and contact information here.

You can also contact the Pennsylvania LIHEAP Hotline at (866) 857-7095.

View or Download Our Free Guide

While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and compiled a guide that we believe is simple to use and easy to understand. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing detailed information on the process.

Our free LIHEAP Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply for LIHEAP, program eligibility and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.

Last Updated: September 20, 2022