HEAP - Home Energy Assistance Program

2013 - 2014


Erie County Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP):

478 Main Street: 1st Floor

Buffalo NY 14202

 HEAP Hotline: 858-7644
HEAP Office Hours 8:00am-4:00pm

Erie County 2013-14 Home Energy Assistance Program

HEAP is federally funded assistance with home heating costs and energy conservation for eligible households. Program components include benefit assistance for heat and electricity, weatherization referral, and cooling assistance (in summer months- based on medical necessity).


Friday, March 14, 2014 is the closing date for the Regular HEAP Benefit.

The Regular benefit is for a  household’s main source of heat. A shut-off notice or low fuel supply is not required. Walk-in applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. Mail-in and online applications will be accepted if postmarked or submitted on March 14.

Monday, March 17, 2014 is the closing date for Emergency HEAP Benefits.

There are two Emergency benefits available, one for a household’s main source of heat (if service is off, or if there is a shut-off notice or low fuel supply), and one for “heat-related” electric (if electricity is needed to run heating equipment, thermostat, furnace fan, etc.). For emergency assistance, clients are encouraged to visit the HEAP Office at 478 Main Street, Buffalo, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., or call the HEAP Hotline at 858-7644.

The following HEAP components will remain open:


For Regular HEAP, applicants may apply by mail, in person or online via MyBenefits.ny.gov

A mail-in application may be requested by calling the HEAP Application Request line at 858-1969.

Or, see below for a printable application.

Click here for a Printable HEAP Application.

Click here for Application Instructions.

Or, clients may apply for Regular HEAP electronically by visiting: MyBenefits.NY.gov

 Mailing of “Early Access” applications and SNAP or TA households HEAP Auto Pay is complete.

1. Early Access and SNAP or TA Auto Pay for Regular HEAP

2. Regular HEAP

3. Emergency HEAP

4. How to apply for HEAP

5. Documentation Requirements: Regular HEAP

6. Documentation Requirements: Emergency HEAP

7. Subsidized Rent & HEAP Eligibility

8. Wage Calculation

9. Countable & Excluded Resources

10. HERR & other furnace Assistance, Weatherization Assistance Program, EmPower NY, Lifeline

11. Other assistance if HEAP benefits are exhausted or program is closed

HEAP Income Guidelines 2013 – 2014; Monthly Household Gross Income Cannot Exceed:



Household Size


Gross Monthly Income

























1. Early Access and SNAP or TA Auto Pay for Regular HEAP:

 Early Access:

Households that received HEAP last season and have a senior citizen, disabled individual, or child age 5 or younger may have received an Early Access application in September 2013.

The only documentation required for an early access application is copies of earned income, if any (last 4 weeks proof of wages -pay stubs). Applicants who received HEAP last season are not required to submit proof of Social Security, SSD, workers comp, unemployment, utility bills, or proof of residency.

Households who believe they should have received an Early Access application but did not, or who need to replace a lost or damaged application, may call the HEAP Hotline at 858-7644 for assistance.

SNAP or TA Auto Pay:

Households currently receiving SNAP or TA assistance may qualify for an Auto-Pay HEAP benefit that will be processed and credited automatically to heating bills in December or January. Households wishing to check the status of an Auto Pay may call the HEAP hotline at 858-7644. If household missed the Auto Pay, they may submit a HEAP application for processing prior to season opening.

Early Access and Auto-Pay eligibility notices will be mailed in December, and benefits should appear as a credit on December or January heating bills. HEAP can notify heating suppliers of these benefits beginning November 18, 2013. If necessary, the approval may restore service, or create a 30-day hold from termination of service, or result in a delivery of fuel.

2. Regular HEAP benefit:

Regular HEAP for household’s main source of heat is available beginning November 18, 2013.

Gas and Electric benefits appear as a credit on bill about 60 days after approval. Oil, propane, wood, pellets, and coal benefits produce a delivery of fuel totaling benefit amount.

  • Household does not need a shutoff notice or low fuel to receive Regular HEAP.
  • 30 day “hold” is placed on heat account if benefit is approved.
  • If there is a shut-off notice, service will not be shut off during that 30 days and utility company will not seek collection for the portion of the total bill equaling the benefit amount.
  • If service is Off, benefit approval may restore service depending on total amount owed

There is no resource test for Regular HEAP; HEAP will not examine household’s savings or checking accounts etc.

Regular HEAP Benefit Amounts:

$400 base benefit

Natural Gas or Electric Heat

$600 base benefit

Deliverable fuel (i.e. oil, propane, kerosene)

$500 base benefit

Deliverable fuel (wood, coal, etc.)

Add on $25

Add an additional $25 to base benefit if: Household has Tier 1 income

Add on $25

Add an additional $25 to base benefit if: There is a vulnerable in the household – child age 5 or under OR an adult over the age of 60 OR disabled individual

“Renter’s Benefit” for Heat Included in Rent:

If Heat costs are included in Rent (NON SUBSIDIZED RENT ONLY), benefit amount is based on household income: $25 if income is Tier I, and $20 if income is Tier II.

If Heat is included in Rent, and Rent is subsidized, household is not eligible for Regular HEAP.

3. Emergency HEAP: (Shutoff Notice or Low Fuel Supply is Required)

Emergency HEAP benefits are available beginning January 2, 2014. 

One Emergency “Heat-Related” electricity benefit is available- IF there is a Shutoff notice and electric is needed to run furnace or thermostat, and is not main source of heat.

One Emergency “Heating” benefit, for main source of heat is available- IF there is a shutoff notice or low fuel supply & Regular benefit was already received.

There is a Resource Test for Emergency HEAP:

Emergency HEAP Benefit Amounts:


Natural Gas Heat Only


Electric Heat – PSC and municipal electric companies


Deliverable Fuel (i.e. oil, propane, kerosene)


Other Fuel (coal, wood, wood products)


Heat Related Electric – PSC and municipal electric companies

4. How to Apply for HEAP: EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 18, 2013


If Service is ON, but household has a current shut-off notice or low supply (less than ¼ tank) of heating fuel:






**An authorized representative may apply on behalf of individuals unable to appear at HEAP or unable to call the HEAP hotline. A signed and dated note from the applicant authorizing the individual to apply on their behalf is required.

5. Documentation Requirements for Regular HEAP:

If Household is receiving TA or SNAP:

Regular HEAP: Many Active TA or SNAP households have Regular HEAP calculated and sent to heating supplier automatically (Auto Pay). No application for Regular HEAP is required for these households. If Auto Pay is not received, a HEAP application must be submitted with a current utility bill. To check the status of an Auto Pay- HEAP Hotline 858-7644. To request a HEAP Application- Application Request Line: 858-1969. 

If Household is not receiving TA or SNAP & received HEAP assistance last season:

A completed and signed HEAP application & the following Documentation are required:

i. If paid weekly, last 4 paystubs

ii. If paid bi-weekly, last 2 paystubs

If Household is not receiving TA or SNAP & did not receive HEAP assistance last season:

A completed HEAP application and the following Photo-Copied Documentation are required:

6. Documentation Requirements for Emergency HEAP:

If Household received a Regular HEAP benefit this season:

    • Shut-off notice or statement of low fuel supply from company
    • Proof of all household liquid resources
    • 1 form of ID for any new household members (that were not listed on Regular HEAP application)

If Household did not receive a Regular benefit this season:

For main source of heat, no Emergency benefit is available until Regular benefit is exhausted.

Applicant may apply for Emergency for “heat-related” electric, and Regular benefit for main source of heat simultaneously, and must provide all documentation for Regular & Emergency HEAP.

7. Subsidized Rent & HEAP Eligibility:

If household receives Government Rental Assistance (Section 8, Belmont, etc.)

If Heat is included in rent

NOT eligible for HEAP assistance with heating costs

If Electric is included in rent

NOT eligible for HEAP assistance with electric costs

If Household pays directly for Heat

Eligible for Regular and Emergency HEAP towards heating bill (see above for benefit amounts) – “Heater’s Benefit”

If Household pays directly for “Heat Related Electric:**

Eligible for Emergency HEAP "heat related" electric benefits (see above)

8. Wage Calculation for HEAP Applications:

HEAP calculates all wages using these formulas:

Paid Weekly((4 x Weekly gross)/4) x 4.3333

Paid Bi-Weekly((2 x bi-weekly gross)/2) x 2.1666

Paid Bi-Monthly – (add 2 gross pay amounts- no other calculation)

9. Liquid (countable) & Excluded (not countable) Resources for Emergency HEAP

Countable (these are counted for Emergency HEAP resource test):

Excluded (these are not counted for Emergency HEAP resource test):

10. HERR and other furnace Assistance, Weatherization Assistance Program, EmPower NY, Lifeline

HERR may assist HEAP-eligible homeowners, who have minimal financial resources, with the cost of repair or replacement of essential heating equipment (furnace, boiler, etc.). To apply, HOMEOWNER or authorized representative* must apply in person with ALL necessary documentation. *An authorized representative is permitted to apply on behalf of Homeowner, but must provide a statement signed by the Homeowner. Reasonable accommodations will be explored for homebound applicants to assist with application requirements. 

HERR Documentation Requirements:

  1. Two (2) furnace estimates from participating HEAP contractors.
    1. Household may call any contractor they want for an estimate, but contractor must be a participating HEAP contractor in order to receive approval.
    2. A list of participating vendors is available at the 291 Pearl St. Intake window
    3. Clients should ask contractors whom they call if they participate with HEAP, and ask for a FREE estimate.

i. HEAP will not reimburse homeowner for cost of an estimate & all participating contractors are supposed to provide free estimates to HEAP applicants.

  1. Proof of homeownership- Deed to home
  2. Proof of household resources

a. Current checking and/or savings account statements, proof of any stock, bonds, CDs, IRAs, etc.


  1. 1 form of ID for all household members
  2. Proof of income for all household members received within last 30 days



Other furnace Assistance (if HERR is closed):

National Fuel Emergency Heating Repair or Replacement Program

Erie County Emergency Aid for Families/Adults:

Home Performance w/ Energy Star- People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH)


Weatherization Assistance:















Telephone Discount:



11. Other assistance if HEAP benefits are exhausted or program is closed




“Care and Share” Electric Bill assistance:

Emergency Aid for Families through Erie County (EAF) – 478 Main Street 6th floor, Buffalo