The Department of Human Services announced plans to keep distributing LIHEAP crisis payments as the program waits for the final 10% of funds for the year from the federal government.

As the Commonwealth waits for federal funds, the state is issuing LIHEAP Crisis payments, but they will not issue Cashpayments; until federal funds come. PA Human Services says they are prioritizing LIHEAP Crisis benefits so Pennsylvanians most at risk do not lose essential home energy services.

The final 10% of funding for LIHEAP is held up because the U.S. Human and Health services is waiting for Congress to pass their appropriations bill that authorizes that fund distribution. For Pennsylvania, there is around $21 million still being held up.

The Department says they will continue to accept and process all applications for LIHEAP and is not planning to shorten the LIHEAP season, which remains open through April 5, 2024. 

They describe LIHEAP as a federally funded program administered by DHS that helps with home heating bills through Cash and Crisis grants so Pennsylvanians with low incomes can stay warm and safe during the winter months.

“LIHEAP is a resource that helps many of our fellow Pennsylvanians make ends meet by providing Cash or Crisis grants directly to households or their utility provider,” said Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh. “I want to assure people that this temporary funding gap will be resolved, and the LIHEAP season is not closed. Once we receive the remaining funds, we will continue to assist individuals in need until the end of the season. If you or someone you know needs help or could benefit from this program, I still encourage you to apply for LIHEAP today.”

For more information about the funding delay, how to apply for LIHEAP, and the program in general, click here.

Some statistics from the announcement:

"As of March 2, 2024, a total of 449,605 LIHEAP Cash applications and 98,657 LIHEAP Crisis requests were received, 269,541 LIHEAP Cash applications and 63,567 LIHEAP Crisis requests were approved, and 18,323 Cash applications and 350 Crisis requests are pending."

"During the 2022-2023 LIHEAP season, 312,169 households statewide received $125,572,518 in LIHEAP Cash benefits, and these households received an average season benefit of $402. More than 135,000 households statewide received $98,923,752 in LIHEAP Crisis benefits, and these households received an average payment of $688."