NEWARK—PSE&G is urging its customers to see if they are eligible for help to pay their winter heating bills. Those who recently lost their jobs, or are now working fewer hours because of the economic downturn, may now qualify for assistance programs.
The federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has allocated $177 million to New Jersey to help low income households pay their winter heating bills. Individuals and families may now apply; applications will be accepted until April 30, 2010. Those who received LIHEAP benefits last year are urged to complete the re-certification application to ensure they receive benefits this year as well.
During this period of major economic uncertainty, many more households are expected to be able to participate in the program for the first time.
“LIHEAP benefits are based on last month’s income, so people who did not qualify for the program previously might now be able to take advantage of these essential benefits,” said Joseph A. Forline, PSE&G vice president for customer operations. “We are partnering with state government and community based organizations in an extensive effort to ensure that much needed assistance reaches every person eligible to receive it.”
New Jersey’s LIHEAP program ranks eighth in the nation in terms of dollars available to help at-risk utility customers. LIHEAP will once again be fully funded, allowing the income eligibility levels to stay at 225% of the federal poverty level. That means a family of four with a monthly income at or below $4,135 may be eligible.
PSE&G customers can pick up an application at one of PSE&G’s 16 customer service centers. Locations and hours are listed on customer bills. In addition, representatives from state designated LIHEAP agencies are available at the following centers to help income-eligible people complete the applications.
- La Casa de Don Pedro at PSE&G Newark Customer Service Center, 80 Park Plaza, Newark, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
- Puerto Rican Action Board at PSE&G New Brunswick Customer Service Center, 1 Penn Plaza, Albany & French Street, New Brunswick, Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
PSE&G households may also be eligible for other assistance programs. Applications and information about these programs are available on PSE&G’s web site at www.pseg.com/help. Information can also be found by calling the LIHEAP Hot Line at 1-800-510-3102 Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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