Legislative press release from Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee
Brrrrrr. It won’t be long before fall’s chilly air turns to bitter cold. Rockland’s harsh winters can be devastating if you have trouble heating your home. That’s where the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) comes in. HEAP is a federally funded program providing relief to those who would otherwise be unable to afford heat.
HEAP might be just the help Rockland families need to pay for electricity, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, coal or any other heating fuel. The regular benefit component helps lower-income New Yorkers cover the costs of heating their home. Eligibility for HEAP relies on numerous factors, including income, household size, the primary heating source and the presence of a household member who is under age six, age 60 or older or permanently disabled.
For New Yorkers facing a home heating crisis, HEAP also provides emergency benefits. Emergency benefits are based on income, as well as available resources, number of household members and the primary fuel type. You may be eligible to receive HEAP emergency benefits if:
· your electricity is necessary for your heating system to work and is either shut off or scheduled to be shut off;
· your electric or natural gas heat is off or scheduled to be shut off;
· you’re in danger of running out of fuel; or
· your home heating equipment is inoperable.
In addition to these direct benefits, HEAP also assists low-income homeowners with repairing or replacing any damaged or non-functioning heating equipment, including furnaces, boilers or other direct-heating components necessary to keep the home’s heating source functional. HEAP benefits will cover the incurred cost of such repairs or replacements, up to $6,500.
As the cost of heating a home continues to increase and low-income families struggle to pay to heat their homes, it’s absolutely essential to ensure that families do not suffer from the harsh weather. I strongly encourage residents of Rockland to apply for benefits if they are in need.
To learn more about HEAP, you can contact the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-342-3009, or you can visit the OTDA website at www.otda.ny.gov/programs/heap. You can also review your eligibility by visiting www.mybenefits.ny.gov. In addition to those resources, feel free to contact my office for any assistance by calling 845-624-4601or via email at Jaffee@assembly.state.ny.us.