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January 12, 2012

State Senator Vincent Hughes: On the Issues Facebook Twitter

Senator Hughes An informational update for you!

This publication is your opportunity to receive regular updates on the work and the issues that I have been involved with, both in Harrisburg and throughout our community.

Please visit my website, where you will find a comprehensive overview of our work, various phone numbers and contact information to assist you in solving problems, opportunities to volunteer and assist us in our programs and opportunities to give your feedback.

Federal Cuts Mean Less Funds for LIHEAP Assistance Eligible households should apply immediately

Stay Warm PAFor several years I have fought to keep the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) open and available to those families who were most in need of home heating assistance during the brutal winter months. A few years ago, I helped gain state dollars to supplement LIHEAP as a part of Governor Ed Rendell’s “Stay Warm PA” initiative.

Unfortunately, with the current and ongoing economic downturn, the federal government has opted to cut funding to this critical program, putting many low-income families in jeopardy of losing critical assistance with their home heating bills this winter.

The PA Department of Public Welfare – which operates the program in Pennsylvania – has been forced by these cuts, to raise the income threshold to qualify for assistance and lower the benefit amounts provided.

I am urging individuals who believe they qualify for assistance to apply now!

Households that earn less than the following, qualify for assistance:

  • One Person: $16,335 down from $17,328 last year
  • Two People: $22,065 down from $23,312 last year
  • Four People: $33,525 down from $35,280 last year

The minimum cash benefit was also reduced from $300 to $100. The crisis grant was reduced from $400 to $300.

LIHEAP The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program LIHEAP is a federally funded program that's administered by the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and it helps low-income households pay for home heating fuel with cash grants and emergency furnace repairs through crisis grants.

LIHEAP cash grants are based on income, family size, type of heating fuel, and region. In addition to proof of income and household size, applicants must provide a recent bill or a statement from their fuel dealer verifying their customer status and the type of fuel that they use.

Applications are available at County Assistance Offices, local utility companies and community service agencies, or families can get more information and apply for this valuable program online by going to

For more information, constituents are urged to call DPW's toll-free LIHEAP Hotline at 1-866-857-7095, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

You can find out more specifics about LIHEAP and provide your feedback on my website at as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).

Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes


4950 Parkside Avenue | Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: 215.879.7777
Fax: 215.879.7778

Senate Box 203007
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3007
Phone: 717.787.7112
Fax: 717.772.0579