(Harrisburg) -- Families who need help paying for home heating are getting some extra assistance through a rare surplus in a federally supported program.
The state Department of Public Welfare is using the extra money to support some 122,000 households that received funding through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.
Spokeswoman Anne Bale says each household will receive an additional $200 grant to help cover their heating costs.
"We did it last year as well," Bale explains. "It's certainly not something that we do every year, but every once in a while we have this surplus that we feel the best use of this money is to put it to the people who need it."
DPW is sending letters to the families slated to receive the extra grant money, which should show up on their accounts in early September.
Of the households receiving the aid, 76 percent have a person who is disabled, age 60 or older, or under five years old.
LIHEAP also provides so-called "crisis" grants for households experiencing emergencies like heating equipment failures or a lack of fuel.
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