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Erie County Home Energy Assistance Program opens Monday


Wed, Sep 29th 2021 02:35 pm

First day for applications is Oct. 1; residents encouraged to apply online

The Erie County Department of Social Services announced applications for Home Energy Assistance Program regular benefits will be accepted beginning Friday, Oct. 1, approximately one month earlier than usual. This year, in light of continuing coronavirus-related concerns related to public gatherings, ECDSS is strongly encouraging applicants to apply online or to utilize other remote channels to apply. As in previous years, interested applicants are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.

“We expect another busy HEAP season. In light of COVID-19-related safety concerns, we are urging residents with heat service currently on and without a shutoff notice to file HEAP applications online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov, by emailing [email protected] to request an application, or by calling the HEAP phone center at 858-7644,” said Daniel Szewc, ECDSS assistant deputy commissioner. “We are scheduling community outreach events to assist Erie County residents with completing HEAP applications.”

To set up a HEAP outreach event for a group or organization, contact outreach staff. All outreach events will be included on the 2021-22 HEAP outreach calendar located on the Erie County Social Services website. Events will be scheduled and held with safety in mind and current COVID-19 protocols in place. Outreach may be a mix of in-person and virtual events to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

HEAP is a federally funded energy program, intended to assist low-income households in meeting home energy needs and decrease energy costs. Regular benefits are available to households paying separately for heat, and to households whose heat is included in the rental amount. Last season, over 114,000 HEAP benefits were authorized to Erie County households.

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, age 60 or older, or permanently disabled. An eligible household may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year. HEAP benefit amounts begin at $21 and are designed to help households reduce their heating bills. Households currently receiving Temporary Assistance and/or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) benefits may qualify for an automatic basic HEAP benefit and may not be required to file a separate application. Households may ascertain whether an application is required by calling the HEAP hotline at 858-7644.

In order to qualify for a regular HEAP benefit, the members of the household must be citizens of the U.S. or qualified aliens with gross monthly income at or below the amount per household size listed in the table below:

2021-2022 HEAP Benefit Gross Monthly Income Guidelines

Household Size

Maximum Gross Monthly Income


















The heating equipment repair and replacement benefit component, available to help eligible low-income homeowners repair or replace furnaces, boilers and other direct heating equipment necessary to keep the home’s primary heating source functional, is open and accepting applications. Applications for HEAP emergency benefits for households who have received a disconnect notice will be accepted beginning Jan. 3, 2022.

For more information on the Erie County Department of Social Services, visit http://www.erie.gov/socialservices/; or on the ECDSS Home Energy Assistance Program, visit http://www.erie.gov/heap/.

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