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Financial assistance programs Pennsylvania.

Get help and find financial assistance in all cities and counties listed below, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In addition to the state as well as government assistance programs listed below that help with electric bills, rent, food, health care, provide free grants, dental care and more, there are other organizations as well as charities.

Better Choice
A program created by the state government Treasury Department and Pennsylvania Credit Union Association to help Pennsylvanians get away from payday lenders or other outstanding debt. It helps facilitate short term grants and loans from legitimate financial services. This program provides short term, low interest rate loans that are better options than payday lenders. (1-800-932-0661), extension 5221.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), also known as Cash Assistance
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is committed to helping low-income individuals and families move to independence. There is cash paid out through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. TANF will provide money and government grants for dependent children and their relative or parents with whom they live, and for pregnant women if needed. Apply at your local county government office, or more on applying for welfare.

PACE and PACENET are two programs that are offered to seniors to help them pay for prescription medications. 1-800-225-7223

CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Plan) - Cover All Kids
CHIP is the state of Pennsylvania's health insurance plan that covers all uninsured kids. The "Cover All Kids" part of the program expands health insurance coverage to all children up to age 18 regardless of their family income, and no family earns too much to qualify for medical assistance. 1-800-986-KIDS

Mortgage and Foreclosure Assistance
Pennsylvania also has numerous programs that will help families with paying their mortgage and also avoid foreclosure. Your local state, town or county may offer resources or they may partner with non-profits to provide government assistance. More on Pennsylvania mortgage help.




If you live in Philadelphia, the city also offers a foreclosure mediation program that can help a homeowner keep their home.

Another option will be government certified housing and foreclosure counseling agencies. Various services are offered. More on Pennsylvania HUD agencies.
A website where people in need for cheap prescription drugs in Pennsylvania can go to find the lowest prices for medicines in their area. If a person types in his or her zip code, drug name, and the distance they are willing to drive, the site will find different pharmacies and retailers in the area that sell the drug at a cheap price and that may offer other health care services.

Military Family Relief Assistance Program
Provides services members and their families with grants of up to $2500. It is government funded. More on Pennsylvania Military Family Relief.

Food Stamps
Food stamps as well as government grants can be used to purchase groceries, food and perishable items. It may also help lower income households in Pennsylvania obtain more nutritious diets by increasing their household purchasing power at supermarkets and grocery stores. If you do not have enough money to buy enough groceries for your family and yourself, you can receive aid. Call 1-800-692-7462, or find details on free food pantries.

Government cash Assistance in Pennsylvania
The state offers government aid for the low income, seniors, and disabled. Services can provide free health care, housing, food, and emergency financial assistance for bills and living expenses. Find more Pennsylvania public assistance.





Free Stuff or Grants
Non-profits, charities or the government have many free programs both in Pennsylvania and nationally. Clothes, cars, medications, housing and more is available. Find a list of free stuff.

Child Care Works
If you are one of the many that are concerned about the high cost of quality child care and need help, Child Care Works may be able to assist. Working parents may be eligible for financial or government assistance with paying child care expenses if they meet the income guidelines. (717) 657-9000. More on Pennsylvania child care assistance.

Legal Help Programs
Numerous non-profit law firms exist in Pennsylvania that provide state residents with free legal representation and advice. Read more on free Pennsylvania legal aid.

Healthy Horizons Program
A program that helps the disabled and elderly pay for Medicare health insurance. The people who are in need of help can even have an income. This program is to supplement the insurance costs. 215-765-9040

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Works with private insurance companies to provide free or discounted health insurance coverage to children up to age 19. There are no income limits, however participants will need to pay no or very low-cost monthly premiums based on their family income.

Disability Assistance Programs and Benefits
Services ranging from medical care, financial aid, government grants, free home care, and more is offered for the disabled in Pennsylvania. Various organizations can provide more information on the benefits that are available and assistance in applying. Click more information on disability help in Pennsylvania.

Energy and Gas Company Programs
Low income residents can get help with their bills from resources and organizations in their town or county. In addition, many utility companies administer their own financial assistance and energy conservation programs. Find an extensive list of Pennsylvania heating and utility bill assistance programs.





Employment Programs and Grants for Emergency Needs
Employment services, job training, and other self-sufficiency resources are offered by community action agencies. Most of the non-profits can also help low income families apply for government grant programs and other aid. Click more community action agency in Pennsylvania.

CareerLink Centers provide the unemployed and residents seeking new skills access to a large number of services. Receive job search assistance, training, and career counseling. Continue job training in Pennsylvania.

Homeless Assistance Program (HAP)
Anyone who is struggling to pay their mortgage or rent can get government assistance. Or maybe you have already lost your home, have been evicted and are currently homeless and do not know where to go for help. The Pennsylvania Homeless Assistance Program (HAP) will help to assure that homelessness can be avoided, that anyone that is seeking a place to live can find needed refuge and are assisted in moving toward self-sufficiency. Services available include rental assistance, bridge housing, cash grants for help paying rent, case management, and emergency shelter. Call your local county office, or find more rent assistance in Pennsylvania.

Eviction Assistance and Rehousing for the Homeless
Non-profits partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. They offer emergency funds or a grant to pay rent when facing an eviction. Or get help with a security deposit on a new low income apartment. Free legal aid, referrals and transitional housing is available. Continue homeless assistance in Pennsylvania.

Debt Reduction and Credit Services
Thousands of families turn to not for profit organizations every year for low cost or even free services to get out of debt or deal with credit and home loan concerns. A few dozen agencies operate across Pennsylvania. Learn more on who to call for assistance for free debt help or credit counseling in Pennsylvania.

Discounted Telephone Bills
The Lifeline 135 program can provide you with a discount of up to $14 on your monthly telephone bill, and the Link Up program will help pay for the installation of a phone, or assist with the purchase of cellular phone. Another resource is UTAP, which can help pay for phone bills to prevent a disconnection. Click Pennsylvania Lifeline.

Medical Assistance (MA)
Also can be sometimes referred to as Medicaid, can provide government payment for health care services or medical bills on behalf of eligible low-income individuals that have limited income and high medical expenses. 1-800-274-3258

Community Clinics and Health Care Centers
Patients throughout Pennsylvania may be able to get free or low cost medical, dental, and other forms of health care from clinics that operate across the state. Find a listing of centers. Locate free community clinics in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania dental clinics can also provide qualified individuals with reduced priced, free or low cost dental care, cleaning, and oral services. More on Pennsylvania dental clinics.

Uninsured and individuals who lack insurance can receive medical bill assistance and healthcare from several programs. Resources provide prescription drugs, screenings, check ups, lab work, and more to patients without health insurance. Learn more on Pennsylvania healthcare for the uninsured.

Rental Subsidies and Vouchers
Very low income families can receive government help from HUD and public housing authorities (PHA) in Pennsylvania. Section 8 and other resources for paying rent are for seniors, low income residents, and the disabled. Read section 8 in Pennsylvania.







Senior and Older Adults
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging works closely with non-profit agency on aging centers across the state to provide assistance to seniors, the elderly, and disabled. Resources available include medical care, food, home delivered meals, energy bill assistance, and general support. More Pennsylvania agency on aging.

Pennsylvania Free Food Banks
Get locations of food banks and pantries that can provide families and individuals who are facing an emergency with free food. Find details on free food pantries in Pennsylvania.

Funds for Emergency and Crisis Situations
One of the leading non-profits to call for financial assistance in Pennsylvania is the Salvation Army. They offer cash assistance, counseling, and referrals. Find more on emergency assistance in Pennsylvania.

Assistance From Pennsylvania Cities and Counties

Adams County (Gettysburg)

Allegheny County (Pittsburgh)

Armstrong County (Kittanning)

Beaver County

Bedford County

Berks County (Reading)

Blair County (Hollidaysburg)

Bradford County (Towanda)

Bucks County (Doylestown)

Butler County

Cambria County (Ebensburg)

Cameron County (Emporium)





Carbon County (Jim Thorpe)

Centre County (Bellefonte)

Chester County (West Chester)

  • Locate food banks in Chester County. Read more.

Clarion County

Clearfield County

Columbia County (Bloomsburg)

Crawford County (Meadville)

Cumberland County (Carlisle)

Dauphin County (Harrisburg)

Delaware County (Media)

Elk County (Ridgway)

Erie County

Fayette County (Uniontown)

Forest County (Tionesta)

Franklin County (Chambersburg)

Huntingdon County

Indiana County

Jefferson County (Brookville)


Lackawanna County (Scranton)

Lancaster County

Lawrence County (New Castle)

Lebanon County





Lehigh County (Allentown)

Luzerne County (Wilkes-Barre)

Lycoming County (Williamsport)

McKean County (Smethport)

Mercer County

Monroe County (Stroudsburg)

Montgomery County (Norristown)

Northampton County (Easton)

Northumberland County (Sunbury)

Philadelphia County

Pike County (Milford)

Potter County (Coudersport)

Reading County (Reading)

Schuylkill County (Pottsville)

Somerset County

Snyder County (Middleburg)

Sullivan County (Laporte)

Susquehanna County (Montrose)

Tioga County (Wellsboro)

Union County (Lewsiburg)

Venango County (Franklin)

Warren County

Washington County

Wayne County (Honesdale)

Westmoreland County (Greensburg)

Wyoming County (Tunkhannock)

York County

Assistance With Paying Utility and Heating Bills in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Dollar Energy Fund Helps with Utility Bills
This is the state of Pennsylvania largest hardship fund. It is providing grants to help residents pay for utility and heating bills, and the hardship program is expected to provide assistance to more then 10,000 low-income Pennsylvania families. Click here for Pennsylvanioa Dollar Energy Fund.

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)
PHFA’s Renovate & Repair program was designed to help Pennsylvania homeowners that have low to moderate income improve their homes. Not only does a low interest rate R&R loan provide homeowners with an attractive repayment schedule, it also provides the homeowner with help determining which repairs and/or improvements to be made. In this regard, this assistance program provides much more than a loan to people – it also provides peace of mind in knowing that the right home repairs are done, that they were completed in a timely manner with high quality workmanship. The program can be used to finance energy efficiency improvements, (which will help save on heating bills), the repair or replacement of a cooling or heating, new windows, roof repair or replacement, and much more.

Weatherization Programs
This federally funded program will update and modernize homes of low income families, with the goal of reducing the amount of energy their home uses. All improvements are free to the homeowner. Recipients of the program can save hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bills. Continue weatherization in Pennsylvania.

Low-income Rate Assistance
Pennsylvania’s electric and gas utilities are required by law to provide Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs), which generally provide a percentage of bill plan or a plan based upon percentage of income payment plan. these plans wherein low-income customers’ utility bill payments are based upon their incomes and/or amount of utility bills. Some assistance programs include utility arrearage forgiveness; while others provide flat rate discounts or even bill credits.





Pennsylvania Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
This program will help lower income residents with paying their heating bills through crisis grants and home heating energy grants. You do not need to have an unpaid bill in order to receive home heating bill energy assistance. You can receive this money and you do not need to be enrolled in the Cash Assistance program. read more on LIHEAP in Pennsylvania.

Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP)
The LIURP assistance program includes an education component that will help address energy saving methods, regular bill payment behavior and it will also provides free application assistance and help with some fees.

$1 Energy Fund
The One Dollar Energy Fund works to help lower income Pennsylvania families and seniors on fixed incomes afford safe utility supplies and help with paying utility and heating bills.

Crisis Grants
This is additional money may be available for paying bills if you need it due to an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your heat. Emergency situations can include:

  • Termination of utility service
  • Broken heating equipment or leaking heating lines that must be replaced or fixed
  • Lack of fuel
  • Danger of being without some type of fuel or of having your utility service terminated

Citizens Energy Heating Oil Aid Program
Citizens Energy, working both fuel oil dealers and fuel assistance agencies across Pennsylvania, provides assistance to tens of thousands with free heating oil. This year, this assistance program helped tens of thousands of families with a one-time delivery of 100 gallons of free home heating oil, and also low cost oil if needed.


By Jon McNamara

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