ALBANY — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday that $15 million in additional funding is available to help eligible New Yorkers heat their homes following a spate of severe weather over the past month.
Starting today, households in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off may apply for a second emergency benefit through the Home Energy Assistance Program. In addition, the application period for both regular and emergency HEAP benefits has been extended until April 26.
"Families should not have to choose between heating their homes and paying for other essentials like food or medications," Governor Cuomo said. "With much of the state remaining in winter's icy grasp, the availability of this extra funding will help our most vulnerable New Yorkers stay warm and safe through the duration of the season. I encourage anyone who may need help paying their heating bills this winter to apply for assistance."
"This winter has been especially difficult, that's why we are taking action to ensure more funding is available through the Home Energy Assistance Program," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Winter heating bills can add up quickly and put a strain on family budgets. HEAP is an essential resource that helps so many New Yorkers across our state make ends meet."
Households are ordinarily only eligible to receive one regular HEAP benefit each winter, and then one emergency HEAP benefit in the event of an energy crisis. Beginning Tuesday, households that have already received a regular and emergency benefit during this HEAP season will be able to apply for additional assistance if they are faced with the possibility of having a utility shut off or running out of heating fuel without the means to replenish it.
New York State's persistently cold temperatures and snowfall, has caused more than 35,000 households to seek assistance so far this year.
The amount a household receives from HEAP depends on their income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can have a household income of up to $55,178 per year, or $4,598 per month, and still qualify for help. A household that heats with oil could receive more than $2,200 in total assistance this winter.
Overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, HEAP is 100 percent federally funded. Applications for emergency HEAP are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by telephone.