Time to sign up if you need winter heating help

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPRI) — Rhode Island is about to receive $22.4 million through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to keep residents — from families to seniors — warm this winter. Sen. Jack Reed’s office is encouraging those who need assistance to sign up early.

Citing LIHEAP as a crucial lifeline for the vulnerable, Sen. Reed said Tuesday, “I am pleased the Obama Administration is releasing this vital funding to help states like Rhode Island prepare for the upcoming winter. It is critical to get this assistance to those who need it most.”

Sen. Reed is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and earlier this year advanced with the Committee a $3.39 billion bill for LIHEAP for the next fiscal year.

In Rhode Island, LIHEAP funds are administered by the state Department of Human Services and local Community Action Programs. About 35,000 Rhode Islanders received LIHEAP benefits last year, Reed’s office said.

An individual or a family has to meet certain guidelines to qualify for LIHEAP, including income and family size.

If you or someone you know needs heating assistance, consult the DHS or your nearest Community Action Program. Click for information.