Heating Assistance/Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The 2022-2023 season is now open!
About the Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants. The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited on your bill. These grants range from $300 to $1,000 based on household size, income, and fuel type. Remember: This is a grant and does not have to be repaid.
How to Apply
There are two ways to apply for LIHEAP:
Online: Apply for benefits online using COMPASS, the online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for health and human service programs and manage benefit information.
On paper: You can download a paper application, print it, fill it out, and return it to your local county assistance office.
After your application is reviewed, you will receive written notice explaining your eligibility and the amount of assistance you will receive. Please allow 30 days for a response.
You must meet income guidelines
You don't have to be on public assistance
You don't need to have an unpaid heating bills
You can rent or own your home
Here are the LIHEAP income requirements for 2022-2023
For every additional person, add $7,080
Households experiencing a heating crisis may be eligible for additional benefits through the LIHEAP crisis program. Emergency situations include:
- Broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced
- Lack of fuel
- The main heating source or second heating source (a source that is used to operate the main heating source or used if the main heating source is not working) has been completely shut-off
- The danger of being without fuel (less than a 15 day supply)
- The danger of having utility service terminated (you've received a notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days)
For more information about LIHEAP, please contact your county assistance office, or call the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095, Monday through Friday. Individuals with hearing impairments may call 711.
Assistance with home heating crisis situations is available 24 hours a day. In most counties, you should contact your county assistance office.
Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program
PCAP is designed to help income-eligible residential customers maintain electric service and eliminate their past-due balance. The program may provide one or all of the following benefits: Automatic enrollment in the Equal Payment Plan, which helps you avoid seasonal high and low bills A monthly credit toward the electric bill A one-time opportunity to have the current account balance set aside for forgiveness An opportunity to reduce electricity consumption through our WARM program.
Click on the PCAP brochure for additional information.
Local Food Pantries
Many people in Venango County are struggling to put food on the table. We have compiled a list a resources that can be used to aid in receiving food.
1. WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) - provides supplemental food and nutrition education for pregnant and breastfeeding women who have given birth within the past six months and for children up to age 5. Shenango Valley Urban League, Inc. is the provider. Referrals can be made via WIC Venango or by calling 814-432-9892.
WIC Venango office hours are: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Weds 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
2. SNAP/Food Stamps - If eligible, you will be able to use your allocation at the grocery store to purchase your own food. Applications may be submitted online through COMPASS or by calling toll-free at 877-409-2421 or locally at 814-432-4341. SNAP is administered through Venango County Assistance Office located at 530 13th Street, Franklin, PA 16323.
County Assistance office hours are:
Mon to Fri - 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
3. Local Food Pantries - Food pantries in Venango County are provided through community members such as churches, social services organizations, food banks, and more. Many of these programs do have eligibility guidelines but have been adjusting to meet the needs of county residents. Second Harvest also has a food pantry locator if you need to find one that is closest to you. The links are below:
The Center Town Café - 11:30 to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at The Pointe at 259 Seneca Street in Oil City
Open Door Café - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 405 E. Second Street in Oil City, PA 16301
“To assure the safety of our customers, to preserve their families, and to enhance the quality of their lives.”
Who Are We?
Venango County Human Services is a branch of county government that is managed by the Venango County Commissioners. It is directed by a Human Services Administrator who works with categorical and system directors and managers to ensure that a comprehensive continuum of high quality services is available to qualifying residents of Venango County. We are among the 30 counties in the Commonwealth that are part of the Human Services Block Grant. While the county continues to work within the regulatory parameters of the traditional categorical systems, our focus has been to move away from disability-oriented systems of care to a structure based on Life Stages. The stages include: Children and Families, Emerging Adults, Adults, and Older Adults.
This shift in focus to Life Stages has resulted in integrated service coordination and partnerships with non-traditional providers like community supports, the faith community, businesses, and more. Monitoring for service providers, evaluation, and quality improvement are all based on the Life Stage orientation as well. The main purpose of this change was to ensure individuals and families are safe and secure in the least restrictive setting. Through our successful integration, we have enabled county residents to heal, grow, and recover by receiving services that are demonstrated to be appropriate, cost effective, accessible, and that meet an assessed need.
Venango County Human Services directly manages the categorical systems that offer services for: Older Adults, Children and Youth, Mental Health and Development, Substance Abuse, and a variety of programs collectively managed by our Community Supports Services team (CSS). We also partner with Mercer and Crawford counties to directly manage the HealthChoices Program, under the auspices of the North West Behavioral Health Partnership, offering behavioral health services collaboratively between the three counties. Venango County contracts with a large number of community service organizations to provide prevention and treatment assistance to county residents.