Applications for the regular crisis program through the state Department of Public Welfare for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will be accepted starting Thursday. Applicants can apply at the local assistance office.

In Carbon County the office is at 101 Lehigh Drive, Lehighton. The phone number is 610-577-9073.

In Monroe County, the office is at 1972 West Main St., Suite 101, Stroudsburg. The phone number is 570-424-3517.

In Schuylkill County, the office is at 2640 Woodglen Road, Pottsville. The phone number is 570-621-3072.

Or apply online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Request an application by calling the statewide LIHEAP hot line at 1-866-857-7095 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-451-5886) Established in 1981, the federally funded LIHEAP program provides assistance to qualified households during the winter to defray the cost of heating bills and related expenses. The length of the LIHEAP program varies depending on federal funds. Several factors decided how the funds are distributed, including the region where the individual lives, income, the number of people living in the home and the type of fuel used. The funds are for an emergency situation or if the homeowner is in danger of losing heat. An emergency situation could include broken heating equipment, lack of fuel, less than 15 days of heat supply or if a notice was received saying electric service will be terminated within 60 days. The regular crisis program closes April 4. The crisis exception program started Nov. 4 and closes Wednesday. Applications are still being accepted. The program pays for heat if a main or secondary heating source has been shut off or if a household has less than 15 days of heat supply.

The third program is a cash grant. Money is designated toward a utility bill or fuel provider to assist in paying for heating bills. Applications began Nov. 4 and continue through April 4. Monetary figures were not available statewide or locally.