176,000 N.J. low-income households to receive extra money for heating costs | Economy | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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176,000 N.J. low-income households to receive extra money for heating costs

NJDollars030911_optFederal aid coming for those in state-run home energy assistance program

Approximately 176,000 New Jersey households that receive money for their heating bills through the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will soon receive supplemental benefits, the state Department of Community Affairs announced on Wednesday.

Eligible households do not need to reapply to the program to receive supplemental benefits. The benefits are available because LIHEAP funding for the year increased.

Nearly 158,000 households that heat their homes with gas or electric will receive an added benefit of $250. Approximately 19,000 families that heat with deliverable fuels, such as oil or propane, will receive a $100 benefit, which is in addition to a $250 benefit previously issued in February. Another 47,000 households that received medically-required cooling assistance will receive a $75 benefit.

“I recognize the difficult economic times that many New Jerseyans are living through, which is why I am pleased that my administration is able to provide additional benefits to eligible households to help them pay their home heating bills for this past winter season,” Gov. Chris Christie said.

“The LIHEAP program provides invaluable help to thousands of New Jersey’s most vulnerable low-income households and allows residents to pay for other necessities such as food, clothing and health care,” DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa added. “It is a safety net for those who, with limited financial resources, have little ability to deal with seasonal and unexpected increases in home energy costs.” The DCA administers the program.

To be eligible for LIHEAP benefits, a household must be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent; and have gross income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

The LIHEAP application also serves as an application for the Universal Service Fund (USF) Program, which is run by the state Board of Public Utilities. USF helps low-income households pay for their electric and natural gas costs. LIHEAP eligible households also may also be eligible to receive USF assistance.



 

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