LIMERICK PA – Limerick, Royersford and Spring City area residents who may need financial help to buy home heating fuel this winter can take comfort in knowing that Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will start Nov. 2 (2009; Monday).

As the temperatures drop, more eys will be on the thermostat.

As the temperatures drop, more eyes will be on the thermostat.

LIHEAP provides cash grants to help low-income households pay for home heating fuel, and crisis grants to address heating emergencies. The state Department of Public Welfare originally considered pushing the LIHEAP opening back to Dec. 1 because it didn’t have enough money, but a federal funding increase will allow it to open next month, it said last week.

During the 2008-09 LIHEAP season, the department estimates 547,000 families were helped through cash grants, and more than 202,000 families received crisis assistance.

Cash grants are based on income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. Crisis grants are provided to resolve heating emergencies, such as furnace failures or unexpected fuel shortages. 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.

After the program opens for the season, applications will be available at county assistance offices, local utility companies and community service agencies, such as Area Agencies on Aging or community action agencies. Applications for LIHEAP cash grants will also be available online.

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