Modified: November 12, 2019 12:33pm

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Applications for Home Energy Assistance Program (“HEAP”) regular benefits will be accepted beginning today (Tuesday, November 12.) HEAP is scheduled to run through March 16, 2020, but qualified residents are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later. To expedite the application process and to avoid standing in long lines, HEAP applicants are encouraged to apply for benefits online.

“Due to a large number of applications anticipated on Tuesday, we are urging residents who have functioning heat service and do not have a shut-off notice to apply for HEAP at www.mybenefits.ny.gov, or by calling the HEAP Application Request Line at 858-1969. Additionally, HEAP outreach events are scheduled at various locations in the community for residents who need assistance,” said Social Services Commissioner Marie Cannon. "Residents can find a calendar detailing outreach events on the Erie County Social Services website."

Regular HEAP is a benefit designed to decrease a household’s energy costs. Regular benefits are available both to households paying separately for heat and to households who make undesignated payments for heat in the form of rent. Eligible households whose primary heat is electricity or natural gas can receive a $350 regular benefit. Households using a different heating source or have heating costs included as part of their rent may receive a larger or smaller amount. Last season, over 100,000 HEAP benefits were authorized to Erie County households.

Regular HEAP eligibility and benefits are based on income, household size, primary heating source, and the presence of a vulnerable household member who is under the age of six, is age 60 or older, or is permanently disabled. An eligible household may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year. Households currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (“TANF”) and/or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) benefits qualify for an automatic regular HEAP benefit and are not required to file a separate application. Households may ascertain the status of a HEAP AutoPay by calling the HEAP Hotline at 858-7644.

In order to qualify for a regular HEAP benefit, the members of the household must be citizens of the United States or qualified non-citizens with gross monthly income at or below a specific amount per household size.

The Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement benefit component, 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, opened on November 4, 2019. HEAP Emergency Benefits for households whose primary source of heat is natural gas or electricity can be applied for beginning January 2, 2020.

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Social Services, visit http://www.erie.gov/socialservices/