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12-9-13: Erie County HEAP Warms Up for 2013/2014 Season


Applications for regular benefits continue to be received; Online Filing Option new in 2013

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Social Services’ Home Energy Assistance Program (“HEAP”) continues to accept applications for regular benefits for the 2013-14 heating season. 749 face-to-face interviews were conducted with individuals who applied in person on opening day, November 18, while an additional 335 applicants have taken advantage of the new online filing method available for the first time this year. Another approximately 14,000 Early Outreach applications were received by the Department of Social Services prior to November 18.

“No family or individual should be forced to live in an unheated home during the winter months, and HEAP assistance is available to prevent that hardship,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Eligible participants can receive up to $650 towards winter heating bills, and with online enrollment now available, I encourage all residents who need the assistance to register as soon as possible.”

Last winter, more than 1.4 million households in New York State, including 95,000 households in Erie County, received HEAP benefits. The HEAP season is shorter this year with the regular benefit component scheduled to close on February 1, 2014.  Applications for emergency HEAP benefits will be accepted January 2, 2014 through March 17, 2014.

For more information on applying for HEAP, call (716) 858-7644, or apply online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov .