This has been a difficult winter in Pennsylvania and especially in the Pittsburgh area.
We had above-average snowfall and February was the coldest month on record. We are still seeing below freezing temperatures and snow flurries as the calendar has turned to spring.
That's why residents in Pennsylvania have an extra month to apply for financial to help with their home heating bills.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), was scheduled to end on April 3. Gov. Tom Wolf, citing the lingering cold weather in the state, announced an extension of the program through May 1.
Applicants must provide a recent utility bill or statement verifying their customer status. Grants may be paid to one utility, or split among suppliers. Cash grants are based on household income, family size, the region the family lives in, and the type of heating fuel used.
In order to qualify, a single person must not earn more than $17,505 per year and the maximum income level increases by $6,090 for each additional family member. You can apply online for the program at www.compass.state.pa.us/compass.web/CMHOM.aspx or you can fill out a form at your local county assistance office.
Excessive utility bills can be a factor in determining that a person should consider filing bankruptcy, as utility bills are dischargeable along with credit cards and medical bills. If you file for bankruptcy, you do need to reapply for the LIHEAP program if you are a member.
If your utility and other bills are causing financial stress, call Steidl & Steinberg and ask to speak to one of our attorneys.