Public assistance, such as medical, food, cash, or utility assistance, is available for many low-income families. These programs are here to help our clients weather difficult times, such as periods of unemployment.

If you need financial assistance, our legal advocates at Summit Legal Aid can guide you for medical, food, cash, or utility assistance.

Flyers for Download:

Download our 2024 SNAP Informational Flyer

Download our 2023-2024 LIHEAP Informational Flyer


LIHEAP Crisis and Termination Notices

LIHEAP Crisis grants can help households with a termination notice from the gas or electric company dated February 1, 2024, or later. LIHEAP Crisis can also help households without heat, a broken heating system, or in danger of running out of deliverable fuel (oil, wood, kerosene, coal) within 15 days. LIHEAP Crisis grants range from $25 to $1000.

Beginning February 1, 2024, County Assistance Offices began processing LIHEAP Crisis payments for households that have a valid termination notice from a regulated utility company  dated February 1, 2024, or later.

To qualify for LIHEAP Crisis funds, households must be responsible for home heating costs and must meet income eligibility limits. Additionally, the amount of the LIHEAP Crisis payment must be enough to resolve the crisis, or the household will not be eligible. Other available funds can be combined with the LIHEAP Crisis grant to resolve the crisis situation. Other funds could be money given or borrowed from relatives or friends, local church programs, Community Actions programs, or the Dollar Energy Fund ( or 1-888-282-6816).

Households in need of LIHEAP Crisis help should contact their local County Assistance Office (CAO).

SNAP ABAWD Changes Coming

SNAP work rules for “Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents” (ABAWDs) that have been suspended since the COVID-19 pandemic will end on August 31, 2024.

Before the pandemic, work rules only allowed ABAWDs between the ages of 19-49 to receive SNAP for 3 months in a 36-month period unless they meet work requirements. Work requirements included: (1) working at least 80 hours in a 30-day period; (2) participating 80 hours within a 30-day period in approved work program, or (3) participating for a required number of hours in the SNAP Employment & Training community service activity.  

Starting September 1, 2024, SNAP ABAWD rules will apply and will have changed in several ways. First, former foster youth who are under age 25 and were in a foster care program until their 18th birthday or later will be exempt from ABAWD rules to get SNAP benefits. Second, military veterans who served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and reserve unit veterans will also be exempt from ABAWD rules to get SNAP benefits. Third, all homeless individuals will become exempt from ABAWD work requirements for SNAP benefits.

Age limits for SNAP ABAWD will also change to include individuals through ages 54, instead of 49, and will be phased in over 2 months. Adults aged 50-52 will be required to meet ABAWD work requirements on September 1, 2024. Adults ages 53-54 will be required to meet ABAWD work requirements on October 1, 2024.


Eligibility criteria for public assistance is below.  For more information and to receive help, you can contact us.

Note that, for certain public assistance, you must actively look for a job or participate in an employment or training program. Also, if child support is legally available to you, you must file for it in order to receive some public assistance.


General eligibility requirements are:
- Adults between 19 and 64 who are at or below 133% of the Federal Income
- Poverty Guidelines
- Individuals aged 65 and older and/or blind or disabled
- Families with children under age 21
- Special medical conditions

Income includes things such as wages, social security and pension. Most welfare benefits are not included. Document requirements include state ID, social security number, proof of residency, citizenship status (or lawfully admitted alien or refugee status) and the total number of household members.


Food assistance is based on monthly income and resources, by household size. These numbers can be higher if there is an elderly or disabled family member. Emergency benefits might be available for very low income levels.


Eligibility for cash assistance requires that you be a citizen or lawfully admitted resident, a resident of Pennsylvania and one of the following:

- You are pregnant
- Your income is under the poverty guideline for your household size
- You live with your dependent child or a dependent child who is your relative

You are limited to only receiving cash assistance for a total of 60 months (5 years) over your lifetime. You will need to develop a plan to get off cash assistance.


Any low-income family can submit a heating assistance application from November 1st to the end of March. Payments are sent directly to the utility company or fuel dealer and credited to your account.


We can help you determine what types of assistance you are eligible for.
Then we can help you secure assistance or appeal a denial.

Contact Us


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