Nov. 10, 2021 / Press Release

Mehaffie Message
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Mark Your Calendar: Veterans Appreciation Event

I will be hosting a drive-through Tribute to Veterans Event on Friday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event will be held at Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department, 1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown, to honor the veterans and active-duty military personnel who gave so freely and sacrificed the most. A lunch and commemorative pin will be presented to each veteran from the 106th District who registers. Registration is required by Oct. 27. Please call my office at 717-534-1323 to register and provide your lunch selection.
Heating Assistance Program Now Open

Residents who struggle with their home heating bills can now apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150% of the federal poverty income level. For a household of four, the income limit is $39,750.
Due to the availability of funds through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, there will be an increase in the minimum LIHEAP cash grant from $200 to $500 and an increase in the maximum cash grant from $1,000 to $1,500. The maximum LIHEAP crisis grant will increase from $600 to $1,200. LIHEAP is distributed directly to a household’s utility company or home heating fuel provider in the form of a grant.
Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence. Click here for additional information. The program runs through May 6, 2022.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is also available in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to help eligible tenants cover the cost of overdue or upcoming utility and rental payments. Pennsylvanians who are responsible for paying rent or utilities on a residential property, and have one or more people within the household who has experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic that puts them at risk of homelessness or a utility shutoff, could be eligible for up to 18 months of ERAP assistance. More information is available at
Minimum Deposit to Open a PA 529 Account Eliminated

The Pennsylvania Treasury recently announced that the minimum contribution to open a PA 529 College and Career Savings Program account has been eliminated.

Once a PA 529 account is opened, contributions can be any amount – as little as $1. This reduction marks the second time since July 2020 that the amount has been reduced and is less than the previous $10 minimum.

Contributions can be made to PA 529 accounts online via electronic bank transfer, through the mail by check or money order, or by setting up a simple automatic contribution from a bank or paycheck.

Saving with PA 529 offers account owners generous tax benefits and the flexibility to choose the plan that works best for their budget. Assets saved in PA 529 accounts have no impact on Pennsylvania state financial aid eligibility.

PA 529 accounts can be used to pay for more than just tuition, including fees, equipment, books, room and board, and other qualified higher education expenses.

PA 529 account owners can choose to save with the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP)   or the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP).

Both plans offer the same tax advantages including a Pennsylvania state income tax deduction, no taxes paid annually on earnings, no income tax paid on growth when used for qualified expenses, as well as gift and Pennsylvania inheritance tax benefits.

To learn more visit
Drug Take Back Day This Saturday

This Saturday, Oct. 23, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to help raise awareness and give citizens across the Commonwealth the opportunity to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.

The reality is more than 50% of people who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or relatives. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly misused substances by those 14 years of age and older, following marijuana and alcohol.

One of the best ways to fight opioid abuse is to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs. Find a drop-off location near you.
Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period Begins

Medicare’s open enrollment period is now underway and runs through Tuesday, Dec. 7.

If you or a loved one are looking for information about the plan that may be best for you, the Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, or PA MEDI (formerly known as APPRISE), can help.

PA MEDI provides free, one-on-one counseling with Medicare beneficiaries, family members and caregivers who have questions about the open enrollment period, health insurance benefits and how Medicare works.

To find your PA MEDI counselor, contact your local Area Agency on Aging or the PA MEDI helpline at 1-800-783-7067.
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