BATH | Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Wednesday the state will be releasing a second round of funding through the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

Steuben County Commissioner of Social Services Kathryn Muller said the funding will benefit those who need emergency funding -- who are nearly out of fuel, or who are in danger of having utilities cut off due to unpaid bills.

“If you’ve already gotten a regular HEAP benefit, and then you find yourself in an urgent situation where you’re without fuel or you have a past-due bill, then you would qualify for an emergency benefit,” Muller said.

Those who are eligible for the program were already able to receive an initial payment, as well as one emergency payment.

The additional funding, which Muller said will be available starting Monday, will allow for a second emergency payment for those who qualify.

"The availability of this funding will help keep our most vulnerable New Yorkers warm and safe this winter," Cuomo said in a press release. "New York is suffering a one-two punch this season with cold temperatures and rising energy prices, and I am encouraging all eligible New Yorkers to apply for assistance."

Benefits vary based on income, household size and the type of fuel used for heating.

According to Cuomo’s office, a household that heats with oil and qualifies for a regular HEAP benefit and two emergency benefits could receive more than $2,000 in total assistance this winter.

The governor’s office said requests for HEAP assistance are up 40 percent over last year “in many parts of the state that have experienced persistently cold temperatures this winter.”

Muller said Steuben County hasn’t seen quite so sharp of a rise.

“We’re (up) about 20 percent,” Muller said. “A lot of it is weather, we’ve had a cold season.”

She said a change this year is the program extending the defined “heating season” until April 27.

Lisa Baker, director of temporary assistance and disability programs for Steuben County, said in her more than 30 years with the county, she’s only seen the HEAP season extended so late one other time.

In addition to the direct aid, the federal HEAP program also distributes funds to help make homes more weather-resistant and reduce the need for heating.

That money goes through NYSERDA at the state level, and the program is managed by ProAction in Steuben County, Muller said.

"We encourage those most vulnerable to the rising costs of heating a home this winter to take advantage of the assistance the state has available to them to ensure a warm and comfortable home,” NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said in a press release.

Muller said those in need of assistance with the HEAP or weatherization programs should call the 2-1-1 Helpline, which can connect residents with those and any other programs they may need or be eligible for.