ALBANY – Thousands of area residents rely on The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to help pay their heating costs as they try to stay warm this winter. This year, 327 million dollars will be used to help New Yorkers, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The application process starts Monday, Nov. 13. Eligible households can receive assistance of up to $726, depending on income, household size, and how the home is heated. A family of four can earn up to $53,482 per year and still qualify for help, officials said.
In 2016, according to information from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, 11,857 Chautauqua County households received HEAP at a cost of almost 3.995 million dollars.
“As cold winter nights begin to set in, this funding will ensure New Yorkers receive the assistance they need to heat their homes and keep their families safe,” Cuomo said. “By securing this federal funding, residents across the state will no longer be forced to choose between buying food for their loved ones or paying their heating bill. I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to apply for this assistance in order to stay warm this winter season.”
The program is overseen by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Applications are accepted at local departments of social services. Anyone living outside of New York City can apply for a regular Home Energy Assistance benefit online at myBenefits.ny.gov.
Additionally, households may qualify for an emergency benefit if they are at risk of getting their heat shut off or running out of fuel. Applications for emergency benefits will be accepted beginning Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Anyone in need of emergency assistance should contact their local department of social services. Last year, nearly 1.5 million households received assistance through HEAP.