PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is re-opening the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to ensure access to drinking and wastewater services for Pennsylvanians with low incomes. Applications for LIHWAP will open on July 10, 2023. Secretary Arkoosh emphasizes that clean drinking water is a right for every Pennsylvanian and encourages those at risk of losing these services to apply as soon as possible.
“Every Pennsylvanian has a right to clean drinking water that keep our homes safe and our families healthy,” said Secretary Arkoosh. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians who are at risk of losing drinking water or wastewater services and have not received LIHWAP previously to apply as soon as possible when the program opens.”
Under LIHWAP, eligible households can receive one crisis grant for drinking water service and one crisis grant for wastewater service of up to $2,500 each. Crisis situations can include past-due water bills, termination of utility service, and having received notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days. Receiving utility assistance through another program like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) does not prevent a household from receiving assistance through LIHWAP if the applicant meets LIHWAP eligibility criteria. If a household has previously received LIHWAP for one water type, they cannot receive another LIHWAP grant for the same water type but could receive it for the other.
Households may qualify if they rent or own their home, have an overdue water or wastewater bill that they are responsible to pay, and if the household is within the income limit for their household size. Grants are issued directly to water service providers, and families must meet income requirements.
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Applications for LIHWAP can be submitted online at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS. Pennsylvanians can also apply for assistance by calling the Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930 or 215-560-7226 in Philadelphia, or by visiting their local County Assistance Office.
Pennsylvanians should have the following information ready to include in their application:
- Names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth for all people in their household;
- Proof of income for the applicant and all household members; and,
- A recent water bill.
LIHWAP is a temporary assistance program established through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. LIHWAP first opened in 2022 and assisted 44,319 households in paying their water and wastewater bills. LIHWAP will run from July 10-August 11, 2023, or until all funds are used, whichever comes first.
More information about LIHWAP is available at www.dhs.pa.gov/waterhelp.