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Erie County Pennsylvania public assistance programs.

Residents of the Erie County region can contact the social services office. This local center administers many of the state of Pennsylvania and federal government assistance programs. Examples of what low income families can apply for are below.

The offices accepts and processes applications for the Erie County Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. This is the main utility assistance programs that is available across the state. It is federally funded and it can help eligible households with paying for their energy costs. In addition, energy conservation and weatherization may be offered too.

There is a certain window of time to apply. Government benefits can pay for heat and electricity bills and applications can be taken during the fall. While more limited, assistance may be offered to pay for furnace repairs.

In addition, when public funds are available, LIHEAP may in fact help pay summer cooling and even air conditioning bills. This is known as the Cooling Assistance Program. It is usually offered for people who are HEAP, SNAP, or TA eligible. Or someone may have a medical condition. While it may provide grants for your bills, more than likely qualified applicants in Erie will receive a free fan or air conditioner. This resource is very limited and is not available every year.

Social workers from Erie County Pennsylvania can offer other support as well. Staff can provide free information about other public and non-profit assistance programs available to assist with heat and electricity costs. For example, get referrals to agencies like the Salvation Army. Or learn about furnace repair and replacement. This of course is in addition to all the other support and social services that are administered from the department.

Health and medical assistance is offered for programs such as the Medicaid Program. This will provide the low income, poor, and uninsured in Erie County access to a variety of public health insurance programs including Medicaid, the Medicare Savings Program, Family Health Plus (FHP), and also the Family Planning Benefits Program. If you are found to be qualified, please keep in mind that you may need to enroll in a managed care plan. Any eligibility for these medical resources is determined based on the applicants income and resource standards governing the federal government Public Health Insurance Programs. The state of Pennsylvania is also involved in administering and funding the program. To learn more or to apply, stop by the office below.




Food stamp vouchers and SNAP assistance is also offered by the Erie County Department of social services. A formal application process is in place. Call (814) 451-6000 for details. Or of course you can always stop by the county office. SNAP may be the governments leading public assistance program and it provides food and nutrition to the needy.

Temporary cash assistance is also administered by the county Department of Social Services. Any aid paid out is short term and can help low income and working poor men, women and children. This public assistance is generally for people who can't find a job, are unable to work, or if their job does not pay enough. These individuals may be able to get help with bills and basic needs. Anyone who qualifies will need to find a job and gain self-sufficiency in order to stay enrolled. This is a time limit program.

If you are faced with a crisis, then Emergency Temporary Assistance may be paid out. This can address an urgent need. Examples can include rent help for people facing eviction, the homeless, utility shut off during the winter, electric disconnection, or similar issues. TANF may also be offered for victims of domestic violence.

To apply for these or other public programs, stop by 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16501 or call (814) 451-6000.




By Jon McNamara











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