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Home Energy Assistance Program opens for 2016-17 applications

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Mon, Nov 14th 2016 04:55 pm

Residents encouraged to apply online to expedite process

The Erie County Department of Social Services is now accepting applications for 2016-17 Home Energy Assistance Program regular benefits, with county officials anticipating increased need and encouraging residents to apply for benefits online to avoid potentially lengthy waits at HEAP offices. Eligible households whose primary heat is electricity or natural gas can receive a $350 regular benefit. Households using a different heating source or that have heating costs included as part of their rent may receive a larger or smaller amount.

"The opening week of HEAP is always busy, so we are encouraging residents to save themselves a trip downtown, avoid a long line and wait time, and apply for HEAP benefits online," said Erie County Department of Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger. "Residents with their heat service currently on and without a shutoff notice are advised to apply online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov or by calling the HEAP application request line at 858-1969."

Regular HEAP eligibility and benefits are based on income, household size, primary heating source and the presence of a vulnerable household member who is under age 6, 60 or older, or permanently disabled. An eligible household may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year. Households currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and/or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits may qualify for an automatic basic HEAP benefit and would not be required to file a separate application. Households may ascertain the status of an AutoPay by calling the HEAP hotline at 716-858-7644.

For more information, visit the Erie County Department of Social Services at http://www2.erie.gov/socialservices/.

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