Swanger Endorses Legislation to Address LIHEAP Fraud
HARRISBURG – State Rep. RoseMarie Swanger (R-Lebanon) is co-sponsoring legislation which would require income verification to determine eligibility for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). House Bill 1991 is now in the hands of the state Senate following passage by the House Monday.

“LIHEAP is a tremendous program which prevents poor families from having to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families,” Swanger said. “Unfortunately, fraud and abuse of the system forces us to put into place filters like this in order to guarantee those who are truly in need get the help they deserve.”

House Bill 1991 would require the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to verify the income eligibility of recipients receiving weatherization services or energy assistance through LIHEAP. It also allows an employee or contractor with reason to believe that an individual is committing fraud or providing false information in order to receive LIHEAP benefits to file a report with the Office of Inspector General.

“The legislation also requires LIHEAP to undergo a performance audit five years after this bill is enacted into law,” added Swanger. “This is not to question the need for the program, but rather to ensure its efficiency.”

On a related note, DPW will be holding hearings in July to allow for public input on the LIHEAP plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The meetings are scheduled as follows: 

        • Tuesday, July 10: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Philadelphia Workforce Development 
          Corporation, 1 Penn Center, 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia. 
        • Thursday, July 12: 9:30 a.m. to noon, Health and Welfare Building, Room 907, 9th 
          Floor, Commonwealth and Forster Sts., Harrisburg. 
        • Wednesday, July 18: 9 a.m. to noon, Allegheny County Courthouse, Gold Room, 
          4th Floor, 436 Grant St., Pittsburgh.

State Representative RoseMarie Swanger
102nd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
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