By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has announced that it is extending the application deadline by two extra weeks for people to apply for LIHEAP.READ MORE: Several Philadelphia-Area Vaccination Clinics Temporarily Close After FDA, CDC Recommend US Pause Use Of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 Vaccine
The deadline was originally today, but will now be April 13th.
If you live in Pennsylvania and have an outstanding balance on your home heating bill that you’re not able to pay, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly known as LIHEAP, may be able to help.
“I think people may not be thinking of their winter heating assistance this year, because we had such a mild winter, but people still have past due balances. So the assistance can go further this year, because their bills are slightly lower for the weather,” said Cathy Engel Menendez, with PECO.
The LIHEAP program awards cash grants based on family size, type of heating fuel and region.READ MORE: CDC, FDA Recommend US Pause Use Of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 Vaccine Over Blood Clot Concerns
For example, a single person with an income under $16,335 is eligible, as are families of four making under $33,525.
“Once the springtime weather comes, we are able to terminate for non-payment, and we always ask our customers, don’t just ignore the notices from us, we can do the most to help you really at a time, right now LIHEAP season is still open, there is other assistance programs that PECO has, don’t ignore us, if a customer contacts us that is when we can be the most helpful,” said Engel Menendez.
You can file an application for LIHEAP with your utility company, at county offices and even online.
Both PECO and PGW tell us they are seeing delays in the typical amount of time that the state takes to processes LIHEAP applications.
The Department of Public Welfare wouldn’t comment other than to say they have assigned additional workers to move things along.
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