Dept. Of Human Services Planning Change To LIHEAP Funding Allocation
PPA learned this week the Department of Human Services is planning to execute a significant change in the way it allocates LIHEAP monies this season.
Beginning December 1, the Department said it will begin to accept applications for crisis grants from customers who have received termination of service notices from their utilities.
The public utilities argued for this change pointing to the large number of their customers who have outstanding balance as a result of the economic impact of COVID and the resulting extensions of shutoff moratoriums ordered by the Public Utility Commission.
PPA has expressed its serious concerns to the Department regarding this change, pointing out that crisis grants are meant to be used by customers facing imminent loss of heat and not for the purpose established by this new policy.
We have raised questions as to how much money would go to these utility customers, and how the processing of the influx of these applications would impact the timely payment for customers facing an immediate crisis.
We have requested a copy of the communication sent to local offices in terms of how crisis grants will be handled after December 1, and will share that response with PPA members once we receive it.