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01/28/2013

As part of recent upgrades to its website, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) created PAGasSwitch, a natural gas shopping tool for Pennsylvania consumers.  PAGasSwitch is located on the PUC’s website, www.puc.pa.gov and will make it easier for Pennsylvania consumers to shop for a competitive natural gas supplier (NGS).

01/25/2013

Treasurer asks current cardholders to verify their addresses to avoid delays in receiving a new card.

State Treasurer Rob McCord has announced significant improvements to the debit card program that Treasury uses to disburse unemployment and workers’ compensation payments – saving individual Pennsylvanians an estimated $5.2 million per year in transaction fees.

01/16/2013

The Legal Aid Society of Orange County and its I-CAN! E-File project has announced that it has entered into a partnership with TaxACT for the 2012 tax season. This partnership will enable taxpayers to prepare and e-file their Federal tax returns completely free. State returns may also be filed online for a nominal fee of $14.95.

Benefits of this new partnership include no income limitations, no form limitations, and no state limitations. If your household’s adjusted gross income is over the $57,000 limit normal imposed for freefile, you can still take advantage of this offer to file your Federal tax return for free and this program can be used regardless of the state in which you work or reside.

01/15/2013

As the chilly days and nights of winter return, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reminds consumers without use of a central heating system or using a potentially unsafe heating source in their homes to call about programs to help restore natural gas or electric service, and to respond to utility representatives who try to reach them during the Commission’s Cold Weather Resurvey, which runs through the end of this month.

“Do not delay. Do not try to find alternative sources of heat. The utility may have programs. They certainly can point people in the right direction to get people the right assistance, but if you don’t call or contact the utility, there is no way that those services and that help can be provided,” said PUC Commissioner Wayne E. Gardner in a video news release.

Consumers should call their utility first to make arrangements to pay their bill. If they are unable to reach an agreement with the utility, the PUC may be able to provide assistance. The PUC can be reached toll-free at 1-800-692-7380.

01/10/2013

Pennsylvania Health Law ProjectThe December edition of the Senior Health News, a free bi-monthly newsletter from the Pennsylvania Health Law Project is now available. For prior editions or more information about the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, please visit the PHLP website at www.phlp.org.

01/07/2013

Visit www.SocislSecurity.govMichael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, has announced the agency is expanding the services available with a my Social Security account, a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits.

More than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients can now access their benefit verification letter, payment history, and earnings record instantly using their online account. Social Security beneficiaries also can change their address and start or change direct deposit information online.

01/02/2013

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, will start offering crisis grants on January 2, 2013 to provide emergency home heating support to those struggling to heat their home this winter.

The LIHEAP crisis grants are in place to address heating emergencies such as broken heating equipment, a lack of fuel, or a danger of being without fuel. To expedite the crisis grant process, the department recommends completing an application online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Paper applications are still available through local county assistance offices, or interested applicants can download and print an application from the department's website.

12/19/2012

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has released the results of its annual Cold Weather Survey, which showed that about 15,983 households will enter the winter season without heat-related utility service compared to 17,475 this time last year.

The PUC encourages consumers without utility service to know their rights and responsibilities. Consumers should obtain information about programs available to help them restore and maintain utility service. Consumers with a seriously ill resident in the household or a protection from abuse order may have additional options for service restoration.

Consumers should call their utility first to make arrangements to pay their bill. If they are unable to reach an agreement with the utility, the PUC may be able to provide assistance. The PUC can be reached toll-free at 1-800-692-7380.

12/12/2012

Pennsylvania Health Law ProjectThe November edition of the Health Law PA News, a free bi-monthly newsletter, is available from the Pennsylvania Health Law Project. For prior editions or more information about the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, please visit their website at www.phlp.org.

The November edition of the Health Law PA News contains the following articles:

  • Training on HealthChoices New East Zone Expansion
  • Time Running Out for Pennsylvania to Create a State-Run Exchange
  • Medicaid Expansion: Critical for Pennsylvania’s Communities
  • Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage Expands in 2013
  • Pennsylvania Making Strides to Integrate Physical and Behavioral Health Care
  • Medicaid Reinstatement Possible for 100,000 Pennsylvanians
12/07/2012

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) recognized the 10th year of its Prepare Now campaign by joining together with other state agencies at the Community Action Commission, Harrisburg, during a media and consumer event held on Novmber 28.

The PUC joined representatives from the state’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and the state’s Office of Consumer Advocate to increase consumer awareness on rising energy prices; exploring ways to reduce energy usage; educating consumers about the availability of low-income programs; and increasing awareness for safe home heating.