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Liheap / Bad service

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I am about to lose my elect. I called Progress for help and they gave me this number [protected]...they said they at times can cover the full bill or at least make a partial payment...I thought great, so I called on Mon. and a recording stated they only accept appointments on Mon. Wed and Fri. 8:30am to 4:30pm and if that recording is reached before 4:30pm the appts. are filled up...so on Wed. (today) I started calling on 8:30am and reached a single ring and then a busy signal came up, I called them non stop until 11:30 am..only to receive a single ring and then a busy single the last call I made at 11:30am I received that same message, ###! They did not fill up the appts. for that day..how cruel is it to offer a helping hand then snatch it back just as I held out my hand?? There is no other number nor a website to reach these people.. I have a choice pay my elect, rent and house ins. or eat?? guess I'll be hungry for two weeks..THANKS FOR NOTHING!!

Je

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  • Nj
      May 17, 2012

    They are doing this on purpose. Lying to people saying they are flooded with calls and busy filling up appointments. They are not busy! All calls are being ignored because that government money they receive is limited and I believe they are using it for themselves. LIHEAP needs to be investigated by Governor Rick Scott. I have an alternate number that I got from somebody at United Way and when I got through the person who took my call was a bit surprised and even asked how is it I got through. Call another LIHEAP from another county and ask if they have another direct number to Orange County.

    0 Votes
  • Pi
      Nov 30, 2012

    This program is a ###ing joke! I lost my job in September and only recently got a seasonal minimum wage job.I've been trying non stop for the past month to get through to this [protected] number they give, and nothing but busy signls or the famous voice telling me to call back later. Oh, except until after they filled their so called "appointment slots". Then you get somebody telling you all slots are filled, SORRY! I start at 8:28am and it's still busy EVEN THOUGH THEY AREN'T ALLOWED TO TAKE APPOINTMENTS UNTIL 8:30AM!!! Oh, so all low income people are now so savvy and high tech they all got war dialers? This is ### and the whole dept. should be investigated and/or wiped out completely. It's ###ing USELESS to people who NEED HELP NOW.

    0 Votes
  • Je
      Dec 14, 2012

    NJcoolness share the direct # you found! Also, since you did get through with that direct #, did you get the assistance? I have to agree with the prior commentators, this # is impossible to get through on. The one same lady answers the phone during their "off" times and she always tells me I just have to be patient and keep trying. That's like saying if I be patient and keep trying maybe I'll eventually make it to the moon if I keep jumping up and down.

    0 Votes
  • Ju
      Dec 14, 2012

    I work in a LIHEAP office in North Florida. We served almost 7, 000 people last year, so obviously callers do get through and equally obviously we are not just using all the money ourselves. I know people get irrational when they are upset but what a nasty, spiteful accusation to make.

    OK I do understand the need to sound off. But venting on the internet will not get you any help. Let me offer some insights into this program which maybe will help the next person who comes here to complain if they can stop fuming long enough to read this.

    #1. There is not enough money. LIHEAP is not an entitlement program and most people who need it are just not going to get it. That’s a fact and complaining on the internet just ain’t gonna change it. Call your congressperson and ask them to put more funds into the program. If they don't hear from you they won't know what you want.

    #2. Some people obviously are managing to get assistance. Like I said, we served nearly 7, 000 last year. The person above who said the program should be terminated was being very selfish. Just because you could not get help then nobody else should get help either? Really???

    #3. Yes the appointments do fill up very early. Whether you believe it or not, that is reality! Until we get more funds so we can serve more people there will only be a limited number of appointments available. Again, call your congressman and ask for more funds.

    #4. We can’t hire more workers and add more phone lines because congress does not give us the money for that. We got three phones in our main office and 4 workers. That’s all they will fund. If you want that changed then again, try calling your congressperson and asking for more funding.

    And now, here’s how to get help:
    Why do you suppose the phones are busy before they even start taking calls? That’s easy. People are already trying to call in.
    Some people start calling around 7 or 7:30 and then just continually redial in order to keep on the line to be one of the first when the agency starts picking up the phone. If you want to be sure and get an appointment you have to do the same thing – start real early and stay on the line until the office opens up.

    0 Votes
  • Fa
      Jun 05, 2018

    @JulieHarris Is there a # to call to complaint because I got cursed out by an employee but nobody seems to have a #. I been on the phone on hold for over an hour now an I'm still waiting please help can you call me [protected] Fallon king

    +1 Votes
  • Mo
      Oct 06, 2014

    The funding is allocated by certain criteria to all the states. Florida seems to have severe problems with their implementation of the program. Other states don't seem to have the issues that Florida has, and yes, their funding was cut too. ABSOLUTLEY! Florida LIHEAP needs to be investigated. Something fishy is going on.

    Setting up a phone Lottery System to serve only those that can get through is a gross disservice to the general populous that need help desperately. Right now, a single person making something like 17K a year, can obtain the assistance via the phone lottery. While elderly and disabled who live on fixed incomes as low as 8K a year can't. They aren't even allowed to apply.

    Worse, if you don't have a phone, you are totally excluded from applying. So what happens is that the ones that need it the most are excluded from even applying.

    Accountability is deferred, typical of all government program administrators. It's not our fault, funding was cut, talk to congress. Sorry but that doesn't fly. Every ones budget was cut. The problem here isn't the money as much as the people that are entrusted with the distribution of the services. They have no accountability as to where those funds go and how they distribute them.

    Who ever came up with the lame brain idea of a phone lottery system instead of a need based system, needs to find a different job. They are doing the general public a severe disservice. Not to mention wasting tax dollars.

    If the funds are reduced, the reduce the qualification guidelines so that the ones who truly need help at least have the chance to apply.

    Do away with the Phone LOTTERY system put in place to make the administrations job easier. At least allow people to turn in an application so that the neediest get considered first.

    +1 Votes
  • Ja
      Feb 09, 2015

    I had a bill for $425 water bill. Had a broken plpe. My income is back child support. Less than$250 a month. Ms Jones said I needed receipt for how I spent my money for the month. This not their money these are government fund programs. Something should be done.

    0 Votes
  • Di
      Nov 24, 2015

    The liheap people in pa. are the most untrained people in the usa They should all go back to high school and then take a course in liheap and how to speak to people and actually help the people. Instead they act as though they are taking the money for oil out of their own pocket. The system is full of errors and the people who work there are unwilling to help when the government system makes an error on your application. Then they say, make a 2nd paper application and when we get it we will process it even though you already made your first application on the computer and the computer system made an error and applied your application to someone elses case # and you've been turned down because the # is wrong and even though you are already running out of oil...they just don't care that you already applied a month before and won't straighten out the mistake because they do not know what they are doing...they are untrained. The ignorant people outright hang up on you even though its taken you days and days of constant calling to get through to just one human.Once in a while you get someone who finally says oh yes I see there are 2 different case numbers...well file another paper application...goodbye...click...it is infuriating and there is no one knowlegible enough to correct the computer error so you are stuck filing again and waiting another month for your app to be processed. What a horror! It stinks. Its depressing. I wish Gov. Wolf would put in an app. and pretend to be a regular person just so he can see what is really going on.

    0 Votes
  • Ta
      May 16, 2016

    The same thing is happing in st johns county they told me to make me appointment for Tues and when I called they told me I would have to make it the 13th when it has already been turned off and there full appoints equal to maybe 5 people and they are so rude I personally don't want there help they burned my house down 10 years ago and that was in Missouri in the middle of the winter. And did nothing about it I lost everything.

    0 Votes
  • Ju
      May 18, 2016

    I sent my application about 4 months ago during the winter. I keep getting a message that my application was received but not yet determined. I know I am eligible. When I called the local office (in Massachusetts). They told me the only way to get help is if I get a shut off notice. It has been 3 months and my electric company has yet to send me a shut off notice and by now the state is probably out of money. It doesn't seem right that I applied with all the proper paperwork and have yet to receive what I should have, I cannot find any where to file a complaint.

    0 Votes
  • Ra
      Feb 15, 2017

    @JulieHarris: You work in a LIHEAP office and you dare to say "Some people start calling around 7 or 7:30 and then just continually redial in order to keep on the line to be one of the first when the agency starts picking up the phone. If you want to be sure and get an appointment you have to do the same thing – start real early and stay on the line until the office opens up." And you accuse others of "nasty and spiteful" comments? What I say is "How do you sleep at night?" To run an office like you say (and it's the same way in my state) is to turn LIHEAP into a phone lottery, as others have stated. Benefits to the poor should not be disbursed by lottery. Either there is mismanagement (more funds should be allocated to office resources so offices are easy to contact and applications are easy to submit) or there is fraud.

    +1 Votes
  • Tl
      Apr 30, 2017

    How about when you apply for crisis funding because your electricity is to be disconnected within 2 days, you apply, are approved, the office sends the letter to the power company that they will be paying the bill...all is good right ? WRONG ! I called to get an extension on my bill as I have to every month because of the way my disability check falls. I cant get one because the LiHeap office, in fact, never paid the bill they promised to, so my electricity was shut off the next morning. That was the end of February they approved me, my power was turned off April 7 and remains off even though I was approved for $430.29 in crisis/emergency funds and $550 in regular program funds. Now, almost 10 weeks later, there still have been no payments to my account

    0 Votes
  • Kb
      Apr 30, 2018

    The problem I am having in the Stat of New Jersey is the fact that I filled an application in 2014, I never received funding and ever followed up with program. Four years later and I applied and followed up..they are not asking me for a letter as to where is my 23 year old son now who was on the application 19 years old. I told her he has been removed from my homes since the beginning of the year. I had to write a letter with this information and now I have to wait 60 more days. I want to file a complaint with the state of NEW JERSEY, I don't know where to start. The program is called Puerto Rican Action Board they receive the government funding to disperse . I cry fowl play

    0 Votes

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