The state Home Energy Assistance Program starts Monday.
HEAP is a federally funded home energy assistance program intended to assist low-income households in meeting their heating expenses.
Base benefits can range from $400 to $600. For those eligible households with heat included in their rent, the benefit will be $20 or $25. For households heating with kerosene, oil, and propane, the base benefit is $600. For households heating with wood, coal or other deliverable fuel the base benefit is $500.
For customers under the age of 60 that are not receiving public assistance and/or food stamps (SNAP) and did not receive HEAP last year, may apply at Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. at 10825 Bennett Road, Dunkirk, or 402 Chandler St., Jamestown. Hours of service are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays. Appointments are not needed and applications should be completed prior to arriving.
Anyone who received HEAP benefits last year now has the option to apply online at www.otda.state.ny.us/main/heap. A printable application is also available online or one may be picked up at COI offices. For more information, call 855-755-0489.
All HEAP applicants must be at or below the income eligibility guidelines.
The 2012-2013 income guidelines are $2,138 for a one-person household; $2,796 for a two-person household; $3,453 for a three-person household; $4,111 for a four-person household; $4,769 for a five-person household; $5,427 for a six-person household; $5,550 for a seven-person household; $5,673 for an eight-person household; $5,797 for a nine-person household; $5,920 for a 10-person household; and $6,346 for an 11-person household. For each additional person, add $495 to the income eligibility.
All required documentation along with a completed application must be provided when applying for benefits. Supporting documents, including proof of income and heating bills are required at time of application; for a complete list of necessary documents, visit the website or call the toll free number. Anyone with incomplete or missing documentation will have their application pended for a maximum of 10 days. If the documentation has not been provided within that time frame, the application will be denied. Those with a heating emergency should call the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services at 753-4421.