Apply For Fuel Assistance By April 28

MARCH 2000 - Needless
to say, this winter has not been kind when it comes to heating our
homes. Relief - other than with warmer temperatures - may be available
to you from the Commonwealthís Fuel Assistance Program.

You
must apply by April 28th, the application deadline. If you meet the
income guidelines, then the program will help pay a portion of your
household's primary energy bills through April, from $140 to $660. The
$660 figure is for delivered fuel such as oil, propane, wood and coal.
If you have non-delivered fuel, such as natural gas or electricity, you
would be eligible for up to $505 in assistance.

For
a single person, the income can range between $8,240 (eligible for a
maximum of $660 for delivered fuel or $505 for undelivered fuel) to
$14,420 (eligible for $180 for delivered fuel or $140 for undelivered
fuel). Couples, whose incomes total $11,600 (eligible for $660 or $505
depending on the source) to $19,355 (eligible for $180 or $140
depending on the source), are covered by the program.

Known
officially as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP),
the fuel assistance program has been offering help for some 21 years.
It is funded federally through the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services.

The Commonwealth's
Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), in conjunction
with 22 regional nonprofit and local government agencies, manages fuel
assistance. For each community, there is an agency responsible to
administer the program.

All persons
residing in the household must declare their gross income to determine
their eligibility. Those found eligible are automatically referred to
local utility companies and Bell Atlantic for applicable low income
discount rates.

In addition to fuel
assistance, the Commonwealth continues to offer energy conservation and
heating systems' repair/replacement programs.

Please
contact the DHCD/ Bureau of Energy Programs' toll free Heatline at
1-800-632-8175 for further information on where and how to apply for
benefits.

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