Second Round Of HEAP Funding Available Today

Additional funding is available to help eligible New Yorkers heat their homes following severe low temperatures this winter.

Households in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off will be able to apply for a second emergency benefit through the federal Home Energy Assistance Program beginning today.

“The availability of this funding will help keep our most vulnerable New Yorkers warm and safe this winter,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “New York is suffering a one-two-punch this season with cold temperatures and rising energy prices, and I am encouraging all eligible New Yorkers to apply for assistance.”

There has already been a 40-percent increase in requests for emergency heating assistance compared to last year in many parts of the state that have experienced persistently cold temperatures this winter. Normally, eligible households are able to receive one HEAP benefit and one emergency HEAP benefit each winter if faced with an energy crisis. This year, households that have already received a regular and emergency benefit will be able to apply for additional funding. Households faced with the possibility of having a utility shut off, or running out of heating fuel without the means to replenish it, will be eligible.

The amount a household receives from HEAP depends on income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can earn up to $53,482 per year and still qualify for assistance. A needy household that heats with oil and qualifies for a regular HEAP benefit and two emergency benefits could receive more than $2,000 in total assistance this winter.

For more information, call the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services at 753-4385.