The Department of Public Welfare will receive additional federal funding to support its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This amount will be used to increase grants by $100 for many households. Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on family size and income. A family of four earning up to $33,075 may qualify for LIHEAP.
In the past the program has come under scrutiny for reasons of fraud and mismanagement. In fact, even after numerous audits by the Auditor General Jack Wagner, the same problems have emerged in subsequent audits, despite recommendations. One audit resulted in the arrest of 18 people for stealing more than $500,000 of LIHEAP funds and related crimes, including many employees in the Department of Public Welfare.
Tens of millions have been estimated in taxpayer losses from the Department of Public Welfare. Yet once again an inefficient program escapes reform, and is instead expanded. Wasteful spending, whether at the state or federal level, only drives up taxes for working Pennsylvanians.