Emergency Benefits

The Erie County HEAP Emergency benefits component will open for the 2021 winter season on January 1, 2021. HEAP is located at 460 Main St. in downtown Buffalo. The New York State OTDA has waived in-person interviews. Those applying are encouraged to utilize various options available, including applying via the My Benefits link, calling the HEAP hotline at 858-7644 or mailing in an application with documentation to: Erie County Dept. of Social Services, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo NY  14202, Attention: HEAP . Anyone who would like a paper application sent to them can request one via e-mail at Heaphotline@erie.gov

The Emergency HEAP Benefit can help you heat the homes of eligible households if you are in a heat- or heat-related emergency. Emergency HEAP is designed to meet a household's immediate energy needs and resolve their energy crisis. This includes households with shut-off notices, fuel shortages or no utility service.

In some instances, households that received a Regular benefit during the previous season may qualify for a phone certification by calling 858-7644. Phone certification occurs during the hours of 8 a.m and 4 p.m. If you are unable to get a phone interview, please report to the office, so the department can resolve your household's emergency.

Those applying must be, or have:

  • ID for household member.
  • Proof of residency and vendor relationship (copy of utility bill is preferred)
  • Last 30 days of wages/proof of income prior to application date. 

2020-2021 HEAP Benefit Gross Monthly Income Guidelines

Household Size

     Maximum Gross Monthly Income



















It is highly encouraged if your household is without heat after 5 p.m. to please contact 2-1-1.