Home Energy Assistance Program Offers a Second Emergency Benefit for Households Facing Loss of Heat
Eligible Households Can Receive Up to $2,200 to Help Heat Their Home This Winter
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an additional $15 million is available to help eligible New Yorkers facing a home heating emergency. Starting Tuesday, February 18, households can apply for a second emergency benefit through the Home Energy Assistance Program - or HEAP - if they are in danger of running out of fuel or having their utility service shut off and have already received assistance from HEAP this winter. Additionally, the deadline to apply for both regular and emergency HEAP benefits has been extended until April 24. With this additional funding, eligible households could receive up to $2,200 from HEAP to help defray the cost of heating their home this winter.
"As temperatures continue to drop in every corner of the state, more and more New Yorkers are struggling with the high cost of heating their homes," Governor Cuomo said. "This additional funding will help ensure the most vulnerable among us will be able to stay warm this winter and I encourage anyone in need of help paying their heating bills to apply for this critical assistance."
Households are ordinarily only eligible to receive one regular HEAP benefit each winter, and then one emergency HEAP benefit in the event of an energy crisis. Beginning Tuesday, households that have already received a regular and emergency benefit during this HEAP season will be able to apply for additional assistance if they are faced with the possibility of having a utility shut off or running out of heating fuel without the available resources to replenish it.
Statewide demand for HEAP remains high. So far this winter more than 1.2 million households have received a regular HEAP benefit, with more than 40,000 of those also receiving an emergency HEAP benefit.
The amount a household receives from HEAP depends on their income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can have a household income of up to $57,564 per year, or $4,797 per month, and still qualify for help.
Overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, applications for emergency HEAP are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by telephone. A list of offices by county can be found here.
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, "HEAP serves as a vital lifeline for the many New Yorkers who struggle to pay their heating bills. This program is especially helpful for low-income households that pay a high percentage of their income toward energy costs, allowing them to free up income for other household needs."
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, "Cold weather conditions can be a challenge for everyone, but can be particularly dangerous for older adults who are in danger of running out of fuel or having utility service shut off. HEAP is a critical component in helping lower-income New Yorkers maintain their health and independence, and absent this vital benefit, many would not be able to remain at home."