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AREA GAS COMPANIES: APPLY NOW FOR MONEY TO PAY GAS BILLS

 PITTSBURGH, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Families who need help paying their gas bills may be eligible for a grant from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Crisis fund, but must apply now, area gas companies said today.
 The deadline for applications is April 2; however, funds are limited and may run out sooner.
 Crisis grants of up to $300 are available to families who have received notice that their gas will be turned off or have a monthly payment plan balance over $200 after receiving regular LIHEAP.
 Eligibility is also based on household income. Individuals are eligible if their annual income is less than $10,215. That amount increases by $3,570 for each additional person in the household.
 Information is available through the LIHEAP Hotline, 412-355-5869, or the gas company. Allegheny County residents may apply for crisis funds by visiting the following County Assistance offices:
 -- downtown Pittsburgh, 304 Wood St., sixth floor;
 -- McKeesport Center, 339 Fifth Ave., second floor;
 -- McKees Rocks Center, 512 Chartiers Ave.;
 -- Tarentum Center, 412 Corbet St.; and
 -- Braddock Center, 640 Braddock Ave.
 Residents of other counties should visit their local County Assistance offices.
 When applying for crisis funds, applicants should have:
 -- A service termination notice or most recent gas bill;
 -- The names and proofs of income for all persons living in the household; and
 -- The Social Security numbers of all persons in the household.
 Crisis grants do not have to be paid back, and no lien is placed on the homes or property of those who receive assistance.
 Last year more than 142,000 Pennsylvanians received LIHEAP I funds, and another 6,000 received additional funds from the LIHEAP Crisis fund.
 -0- 2/11/93
 /CONTACT: Rosemary Martinelli of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, 412-344-9800; Mike Stack of Equitable Gas Company, 412-553-5808; or Elmore Lockley of Peoples Natural Gas Company, 412-497-6742/


CO: Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania; Equitable Gas Company;
 Peoples Natural Gas Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:


DM -- PG005 -- 5562 02/11/93 09:34 EST
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Date:Feb 11, 1993
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