New Yorkers who need help heating their homes this winter can now apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which provides financial assistance with heating bills and related costs.
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HEAP benefits for the 2022-2023 regular season opened on Nov. 1, according to the program’s website. If you are eligible for the program, you may receive one HEAP benefit each program year. You may be eligible for HEAP emergency assistance if you are at risk of running out of fuel or if your utility service is shut off.
HEAP is available to eligible residents who heat their homes with a variety of sources, including electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, propane, wood/wood pellets, kerosene and corn. Eligibility and benefits are based on income, household size, primary heating source and presence of a household member under 6 years of age, 60 years of age or older, or permanently disabled.
You can apply online at myBenefits.ny.gov, in person at your local HEAP District Contact, or in writing by filling out and submitting a HEAP application:
Basic benefits start at $21 for eligible households living in government subsidized housing or a group home setting with heat included in the rent. Benefits can be up to $976 for eligible homes with oil, kerosene or propane primary heat, and make payments directly to the seller for heating costs.
According to Newsday, HEAP benefits are up 33% this year from last year for homes that heat with oil, kerosene or propane; 14% for homes heated with electricity or natural gas; and 21% for households that heat wood, coal, charcoal or corn.
Regular allowances for households that pay for direct heat based on actual usage are paid directly to the supplier that supplies the home’s actual heat source. To find a participating dealer, visit HEAP’s list of participating dealers.
To be eligible for regular benefits, a member of your household must be a US citizen or eligible immigrant. You may be eligible if you meet one of the following criteria:
The emergency relief program is scheduled to open on Jan. 3, 2023. Eligibility for emergency benefits is based on income, available benefits, and type of emergency. If you have an emergency you should contact the HEAP Local Contact for assistance. Help cannot be provided on the website.
Many residents may need help with their heating bills this winter amid oil and gas shortages tied to supply problems and the war in Ukraine. Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, told Newsday that in the Northeastern US, oil heating bills will increase by about 25% this year vs. Lift.
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“The bottom line is that home energy costs are going to be very expensive this year and unaffordable for many,” Wolfe said. For more information on HEAP benefits and eligibility requirements, visit the HEAP website.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program Opens Today – Here’s How to Apply