The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, will start accepting new applications for this winter today. LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safe during the winter months.

"LIHEAP continues to be part of our core welfare programs offering assistance to millions of Pennsylvania families and individuals to help them make ends meet," Department of Public Welfare Secretary Gary D. Alexander said. "We are encouraging all who are able to apply online this year, a new effort to provide better customer service and reduce costs."

Online applications can be completed by visiting Paper applications are still available through local county assistance offices, or interested applicants can download and print an application from the department's website.

"The LIHEAP program is available to all eligible Pennsylvanians," Secretary Alexander said. "However, each January and February we see a large influx of applications, which slows down the approval process. If you feel you are eligible for LIHEAP, don't wait; apply early."

For helpful tips on how to keep your home warm throughout the winter, while saving money on utility costs, the department suggests visiting

For more information on the LIHEAP program, or to download an application, visit the Department of Public Welfare website at and click on "For Adults."

Pennsylvanians who suspect welfare fraud should call 1-800-932-0582.