LIHEAP Applications on the Rise

WEST PITTSTON — The frigid temperatures are coming through our area once again, and that means heating bills are skyrocketing. State officials say more people in our area are signing up for assistance to pay those bills.

Paul Moss is one of many drivers delivering heating oil to homes this time of the year. As temperatures plummet, heating bills are on the rise. With these record lows, he’s delivering more heating oil than normal.

“Today I`ve done about 25 and this is my second load of heating oil,” said Paul Moss, who delivers heating oil for Superior Plus Energy Services.

Moss says he typically delivers heating oil to about 15 homes a day. These days he’s averaging 25 a day and working weekends. More of these deliveries are to customers of LIHEAP, the Low Income Heating Assistance Program funded by the state.

“Within the last three days, I did about 14 of them,” said Moss.

Department of Public Welfare representatives say the number of people using LIHEAP in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties is up this year compared to last.

“I also think it`s really cold, and people need to get their heat on and to make sure they`re in a safe home,” said Kait Gillis, the deputy Director of Communications for the Department of Public Welfare.

Shannon Slominski of Newport Township is just one of the many people signing up for LIHEAP at the public welfare office in Wilkes-Barre.

“With a family of four, with the temperatures getting so cold, everybody needs the help,” said Shannon Slominski, of Newport Township.

To sign up, she had to show proof of income, her heating bill, and the number of people living in her home. She’s not sure when she’ll hear whether she’s been approved for the program, but she hopes it’s soon.

“I`ll keep my fingers crossed because it`s supposed to go down into the negative temperatures, and it`s just, it`s too cold. I hate winter,” said Slominski.

If you’d like to apply for LIHEAP, you need your heating bill and proof of income. You can apply online or by calling your county assistance office.

2 comments

  • Janet Den Haese Anderson

    approx. 80K people lost their only source of income…unemployment…now these same people will be applying for more assistance…doesn’t make sense when the repubs are calling for more cuts to social safety network programs meaning more people will qualify for that assistance and there’ll be less funds when the need is the greatest. …let’s not even mention the increase in gas ….and how it will affect these very same people.

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