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Water Assistance Program, Necessary Documentation to Apply


January 6, 2022

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) highlighted the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), an upcoming program to help Pennsylvanians maintain access to drinking and wastewater service. Applications for LIHWAP open Jan. 4, 2022.

"Access to clean drinking water and wastewater services that keep our homes safe are foundational to daily wellbeing," said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. "I encourage all Pennsylvanians who are at risk of losing this essential service to have necessary information on hand to apply when LIHWAP opens on Jan. 4."

Assistance is available for families who have past due water bills, had their service terminated, or received a notice indicating that their service will be terminated in the next 60 days. Households can receive LIHWAP grants for both drinking water service and wastewater service. Grants are issued directly to water service providers, and families must meet income requirements. As they prepare to apply in early January, Pennsylvanians should have the following information ready to submit 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.

Receiving utility assistance through another program like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) does not prevent a household from receiving assistance through LIHWAP as long as the applicant meets LIHWAP eligibility criteria. Income guidelines for the program are highlighted in the accompanying graphic.

LIHWAP is a new, temporary assistance program established through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 as part of the nation's continued response to the challenges experienced by families due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty. Pennsylvania received approximately $43.2 million to assist families who have lost or are at risk of losing water service in their homes.

Applications for LIHWAP, LIHEAP, and ERAP as well as other public assistance programs that can provide health care, food, and cash assistance can be submitted online at DHS' County Assistance Offices (CAO) are available for in-person support if clients cannot access online services or need assistance or information that is not on the COMPASS website or the myCOMPASS PA mobile app. Pennsylvanians can also request a paper application or get help applying for assistance by calling the Customer Service Centers at (215) 560-7226 for Philadelphia clients or (877) 395-8930 for clients in all other counties.

All Pennsylvanians experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, a lost job, or a change in income are strongly encouraged to apply and see if they qualify for assistance with food, health care, and other essential needs.


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