ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that more than $372 million in assistance is available to help older adults and low and middle-income New Yorkers heat their homes this winter via the Home Energy Assistance Program.
“As cold winter weather approaches, this administration is steadfast in its commitment to assisting vulnerable New Yorkers struggling to pay their heating bills,” Governor Cuomo said. “Whether it’s senior citizens on a fixed income, or low-income working families, this assistance will keep New Yorkers safe and help them avoid having to choose between buying food or paying their heating bill.”
A household can receive a one-time regular HEAP benefit of up to $726 if they are eligible. Eligibility is based on income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can have a household income of up to $55,178 a year, or $4,598 a month, and still qualify for help.
Last year, more than 1.4 million households received heating assistance through HEAP, which is overseen by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Applications for the program, which is 100 percent federally funded, are accepted at local departments of social services.
Anyone living outside of New York City can apply for a regular HEAP benefit online at myBenefits.ny.gov. Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Additionally, households that have already received assistance may qualify for a one-time emergency HEAP benefit if they are at risk of getting their heat shut off or running out of fuel, which they cannot afford to resupply. Applications for emergency benefits will be accepted starting on Wednesday, January 2. Anyone in need of emergency assistance should contact their local department of social services.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, “Higher energy prices are expected this winter and that makes it all the more crucial that people apply early since assistance is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Without this assistance, the cold winter months would be even colder for many of our fellow New Yorkers.”
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, “As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to have helped secure these vital federal funds, which were at threat of elimination by the Trump Administration. New Yorkers should not be forced to suffer unbearably cold temperatures during winter because they can’t afford exorbitant heating costs. This funding will protect residents and provide relief for paying heating bills. I commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment to this crucial program that will keep New Yorkers safe and warm this winter.”
Congressman José E. Serrano said, “No family should be forced to suffer through winter months in New York without home heating. This federal funding will go a long way towards providing assistance to needy individuals and families throughout our State. I thank Governor Cuomo for his continued dedication to families in New York and for maximizing this important federal program for families in the Bronx.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng said, “HEAP is a critical program that I’ve long supported and this funding will provide much needed assistance to elderly and low income New Yorkers as the cold winter weather arrives. I commend Governor Cuomo for his role in securing this funding, and look forward to continuing to work with him to protect vulnerable New Yorkers throughout our State.”
It might be worth the mention that the program doesn’t open until November 13th.