The COVID-19 3rd Supplemental provided an additional $900 million for HEAP and $1 billion for CSBG. This is all good.
Congress is now feuding over a 4th and 5th supplemental. The first volley was fired by the Senate which wanted to put another $250 million into the Payment Protection Plan. OPAE has applied for one, and hope there is money left. The Democrats were unwilling to support the proposal without adding more, and the whole thing has stalled out. Still, there is wide acknowledgment that additional assistance will be necessary.
LIHEAP supporters are rallying around a recommendation by the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (OSDA is member) has requested $4.3 billion in additional funding. This would permit the program to serve:
- 5.6 million laid-off workers;
- 2.8 million seniors sheltering in place;
- and, 2.8 million current LIHEAP customers.
This is based on a $325 average benefit. Lots of people. Lots of money. Lots of challenges to get the newbies into the system.