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Maine awarded nearly $5M in additional LIHEAP funding

The funding comes in addition to the $42.5 million Maine received in November and $6.5 million in February, a release says.

AUGUSTA, Maine — More assistance is on its way for Maine families struggling with the rising cost of energy and fuel prices while the winter season nears its end. 

On Wednesday, Senator Susan Collins and Congressman Jared Golden announced an additional $4,949,580 for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to a news release. 

The funding reportedly comes after Maine received $42.5 million in November and a total of $6.5 million in February. 

Maine has received almost $54 million in LIHEAP funding so far this winter, the release said. 

The additional $4.9 million in March serves as the final portion of allocated funding secured by Collins, Golden, and Senator Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, signed into law in December, according to the release. 

"Last month, Senators Collins and Reed led 32 senators in sending a letter to  U.S Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to urge the immediate allocation of emergency LIHEAP funds," the release said. 

LIHEAP is a federal program that can help low-income households with home energy bills and crisis assistance. Eligibility is determined by income, family size, and the availability of resources. 

Applications for assistance are available through spring of this year, or until available funding runs out. 

"As Mainers dig out from yet another significant snowstorm this week, the release of this heating assistance is well-timed to help low-income families and seniors who are facing enormous financial challenges to stay warm this winter," Collins said in the release. "As the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to advocate for this much-needed funding to help prevent vulnerable Mainers from having to make the impossible choice between paying for heat and paying for food or medicine."

"Energy prices in Maine and across the country have remained far too high for far too long, and some of the heaviest burdens have fallen on our seniors, friends and neighbors on fixed incomes, and other Mainers in need," Golden added in the release. "As any Mainer knows, this winter is not over. This critical funding will provide relief to families in Maine struggling to heat their homes through this last cold stretch. I’m committed to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House and the Senate to secure the resources needed to keep every Maine home heated at a reasonable cost."

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