Help is on the way for New York’s most vulnerable residents who are having trouble paying their heating bills this season. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LI- HEAP), according to State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that assists low-income households in meeting their immediate home energy needs. The Obama Administration is providing $359 million for home energy assistance to households across the state.
“The ability to heat your home can literally mean the difference between life and death. We will maintain our commitment to helping families in these difficult economic times, and assisting the most vulnerable among us,” said Senator Addabbo. “It is important that my constituents know this program is available and take full advantage of this help as soon as possible during the heating season.”
In New York, almost a third of HEAP households have a household member aged 60 or older. Funds are targeted to households with the lowest income that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy.
Households are eligible for benefits if total gross monthly income is at or below 60 percent of the state median income. Assistance is also available if the household is in an emergency situation - without heating fuel, running low on fuel or having heat-related utility service currently disconnected or scheduled for disconnection. Eligible homeowners whose primary heating system is inoperable and in need of repair or replacement can also qualify.
Addabbo adds, “Every year, applications become available in my office during the first week in November – I urge my constituents to take advantage of this program quickly now that the heating season has begun. Eligible apartment dwellers can receive $40 or $50; eligible households that pay for fuel can receive up to $700 depending on the type of fuel used. HEAP may help pay for: electricity, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, coal or any other heating fuel. My staff will be available to assist those who need help completing the one-page color form. Applicants just mail back the completed forms themselves.”
Anyone who had applied for HEAP in past years will receive a new application in the mail. The new form is also available online from the NYC Department for the Aging at www.nyc.gov/aging in November or by calling the city’s Citizen Service Center at 311 and requesting a HEAP application.
The HEAP program is supervised in New York by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and is administered at the local level by local departments of social services.
For more information, visit http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/heap.
For more information about picking up an application or for assistance with filling out the form, call Senator Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111.