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NYS: $63 million to boost home energy assistance payments


Tue, Dec 13th 2022 02:10 pm

New York has received more than $412 million in federal funding for HEAP this winter

√ Home heating assistance increased to 56% over last winter for eligible households

√ Maximum of $1,126 now available to help eligible New Yorkers cover home heating costs

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced New York has received an additional $63 million in federal funding that will be used to increase the base home heating assistance eligible households will receive. With the additional funding, eligible homeowners and renters could receive up to $1,126 from the Home Energy Assistance Program to help keep their homes warm this winter in the face of higher energy costs.

New York has received more than $412 million in federal funding for HEAP this winter, up from $387 million last year.

"As temperatures dip this winter, my administration is committed to making sure all New Yorkers are able to heat their homes," Hochul said. "Through this federal funding, we can help more families cover their energy bills and still have the money to pay for other household needs, like food and medicine. As New Yorkers face higher energy costs, this is a critical resource for families to ensure their homes are safe and warm this winter."

HEAP, overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, is federally funded. The higher benefit levels took effect on Dec. 11. Eligible households can receive one regular HEAP benefit per season with a maximum of $1,126, depending on their income, household size, how they heat their home, and if the household includes a vulnerable family member. Previously, the maximum benefit had been $976.

The value of the regular HEAP benefits had already increased over last winter by anywhere from 14% to 33%, depending how the home is heated. This additional funding boosts those increases to between 30% and 56% over last year.

Households that heat with oil, kerosene or propane will now receive a base payment of $1,050, up from $675 last year; those that heat with wood, wood pellets, coal or corn, will receive $685, up from $525 last year; and those that heat with electricity or natural gas will receive $500, up from $350 last year.

Households that received a regular HEAP benefit before the higher amounts took effect will receive a supplemental benefit to make up the difference. Those supplemental payments are expected to be issued beginning in early 2023. As with all HEAP payments, benefits are issued directly to the household's heating vendor.

OTDA Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, "The Home Energy Assistance Program is especially important to help some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers keep their homes warm in the wintertime. Anyone who thinks they may be eligible should be apply as soon as possible so they can continue to heat their homes as the colder temperatures set in."

Hochul’s team said, “The U.S. Energy Information Administration anticipates significantly higher heating fuel prices this winter, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts slightly colder temperatures for New York state, underscoring the importance of this additional funding for HEAP.”

Applications for assistance are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by phone, with funding provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents outside of New York City may also apply online for regular HEAP benefits. New York City residents may download an application and obtain program information here.

New Yorkers who have already received a regular HEAP benefit, and continue to fall behind on their utility bills or are running short of heating fuel, may also qualify for a one-time emergency HEAP benefit. Applications for emergency benefits will be accepted starting Jan. 3, 2023.

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