Modified: May 2, 2022 11:50am

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The Erie County Department of Social Services (“ECDSS”) has announced the availability of Emergency Benefits for Home Energy Assistance Program (“HEAP”) customers who receive the regular benefits component. Regular benefits closed on April 29 but the program is now accepting applications for Emergency Benefits for customers who are facing a heating or heat-related electric emergency. The Emergency HEAP benefit will be available until August 31,2022 or until funding is exhausted and a disconnect notice or lack of utility service is required for utility customers.  Erie County residents may apply in-person at the HEAP office located at 460 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14202 or by phone at 716-858-7644. The office is open from 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.   As in previous years, interested applicants are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.


Additionally, ECDSS has announced the opening of the 2022 Cooling Assistance Program, which provides eligible customers with the installation of a single room air conditioner or fan. In contrast to past years, this year applicants no longer have to have a documented medical condition that could be exacerbated by extreme heat to be eligible for the program. If an applicant is HEAP-eligible, has an air conditioner that is older than five years and has not received cooling assistance in the past five years, they may also qualify for cooling assistance.  The Cooling Assistance Program will run in conjunction with the Emergency HEAP benefit and will be available until August 31,2022 or until funding is exhausted. Erie County residents may apply by phone, by fax (716-858-6765), in-person or by mailing a HEAP application to 460 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14202. Applications may be obtained on  the website or by calling 716-858-7644. 


“We expect a hot summer,” said Daniel Szewc, ECDSS Assistant Deputy Commissioner.  “The Emergency and Cooling programs will help keep our residents safe and comfortable throughout the entire season. If a resident is interested in the either of these helpful programs, we urge them to contact our HEAP hotline at 716-858-7644 or for further details. “


HEAP is a federally funded energy program, intended assist low income households in meeting home energy needs and decrease energy costs.


HEAP eligibility and benefits are based on the last 30 days of income, household size, primary heating source and the presence of a vulnerable household member who is under age 6, age 60 or older, or permanently disabled. This year an eligible household may receive up to 3 Emergency HEAP benefits.  



In order to qualify for a regular HEAP benefit, the members of the household must be citizens of the United States or qualified aliens with gross monthly income at or below the amount per household size listed in the table below: 



2021-2022 HEAP Benefit Gross Monthly Income Guidelines

Household Size

Maximum Gross Monthly Income


















The Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement and Clean and Tune benefit components are still available to help eligible low-income homeowners repair or replace furnaces, boilers and other direct heating equipment necessary to keep the home’s primary heating source functional is open and accepting applications. The Clean and Tune program also provides eligible applicants with carbon monoxide detectors and updated thermostats.




For more information:


On the Erie County Department of Social Services, visit


On the Erie County Department of Social Services Home Energy Assistance Program, visit


Information on how to apply for HEAP benefits is available here .





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