Additional federal aid available for paying home-energy bills

TRENTON – Households that receive federal home-energy aid will be able to receive additional benefits, the governor’s office reported.

Approximately 176,000 households in the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will soon receive supplemental benefits, the Christie administration stated in a release.

Nearly 158,000 households that heat their homes with gas and/or electric will receive an added benefit of $250, the administration reported. Approximately 19,000 families that heat with fuels, such as oil or propane, will receive a $100 supplemental benefit, which is in addition to a $250 benefit previously issued in February. Also, about 47,000 households that received medically-required cooling assistance will receive a $75 supplemental benefit.

“I recognize the difficult economic times that many New Jerseyans are living through, which is why I am pleased that my administration is able to provide additional benefits to eligible households to help them pay their home heating bills for this past winter season,” Christie said in a release.

Eligible households do not need to reapply for the program to receive supplemental benefits. The benefits are available because LIHEAP funding for the year increased beyond the original projections provided by the federal government.

The Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Housing and Community Resources administers the LIHEAP program, which is a federally-funded initiative that helps low-income residents with their heating and cooling bills, and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance. To be eligible for LIHEAP benefits, a household must be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent; and have gross income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Additional federal aid available for paying home-energy bills