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Hochul announces extension of home heating assistance programs through April 12


Mon, Mar 18th 2024 01:35 pm

Second round of emergency home heating aid now available for eligible New Yorkers

√ HEAP helps eligible households pay their heating bills

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the availability of additional home heating assistance to help low- and middle-income New Yorkers who are struggling to pay their energy bills, are in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off. The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) has extended the deadline for Regular and Emergency HEAP applications to April 12 and is now accepting applications for a second emergency benefit from eligible New Yorkers who have used up their regular and first emergency benefits.

“Energy prices remain high, putting a burden on struggling New Yorkers trying to pay their bills,” Hochul said. “New Yorkers are applying for HEAP benefits, and by extending the program through April 12 and offering a second emergency benefit, we are continuing to provide critical relief to low- and middle-income households.”

Hochul’s team said, "HEAP, which is overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, is federally funded and can help eligible New Yorkers heat and cool their homes. Normally, eligible households can receive one regular HEAP benefit each winter and could also be eligible for a single emergency HEAP benefit if they face an energy crisis. Those that have already received a regular and emergency benefit this winter will be able to apply for an additional emergency benefit, if they are facing a utility shut off or are running out of heating fuel and cannot afford to replenish it.

“Eligible homeowners and renters may receive up to $976 in heating assistance, depending on their income, household size, how they heat their home, and if the household contains a vulnerable member. A family of four may have a maximum gross monthly income of $5,838, or an annual gross income of $70,059, and still qualify for benefits.”

More than 1.4 million Regular HEAP benefits totaling $198 million have been issued this heating season since the program opened Nov. 1, with an additional 49,000 emergency HEAP benefits totaling $30 million provided since Jan. 2.

Applications for assistance are accepted at local departments of social services and can be submitted online, through the mail or in person. Additionally, older adults needing assistance with HEAP applications can contact their local office for the aging or contact the NY Connects helpline at 1-800-342-9871. The deadline for the regular, emergency, and second emergency benefit is April 12. Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

OTDA Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “HEAP provides essential financial assistance to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers struggling to pay their energy bills. We are grateful for Gov. Hochul’s continued support of this vital lifeline for low-income working families, senior citizens on a fixed income, and those who find themselves in emergency situations. I encourage all eligible households to apply for these additional benefits, which will provide much-needed financial relief.”

Hochul’s team stated, “Additionally, assistance through the 2023-24 heating equipment repair and replacement program remains available to help eligible homeowners repair or replace their furnace, boiler, and other direct heating equipment necessary to keep their home’s primary heating source working. Benefit amounts through the HEAP heating equipment repair and replacement program are based on the actual cost incurred to repair or replace the essential heating equipment – up to $4,000 for a repair and $8,000 for a replacement.

“Eligible homeowners can also continue to apply for a HEAP ‘Heating Equipment Clean and Tune’ benefit to keep their home's primary heating source working at peak efficiency. Applicants for these benefits should contact their local department of social services for more information.”

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