HEAP applications available

Staff reports

Households eligible for home heating assistance may receive up to $650 this winter, according to the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Applications for assistance are now being accepted at ProAction or the county Department of Social Services office in Bath. DSS satellite office in Corning and Hornell will begin accepting applications in early December.

The federal program helps low-income and elderly New Yorkers keep their homes warm in the winter months.

Eligibility for HEAP is based on income and household size. For example, a family of four can have a household income of $49,333 a year and still qualify for a HEAP benefit, according to the state agency.

“Rising energy prices and colder temperatures will make it even harder for many low-income families and senior citizens on fixed incomes to afford their heating bills this winter,” OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin said, in a prepared statement.

Last winter, 1.5 million households received HEAP benefits.

Eligible households may also apply for an emergency HEAP benefit if they are in danger of running out of fuel or having their utilities shut off. Applications for emergency HEAP benefits begin Jan. 2.

HEAP benefits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications for regular benefits will be accepted through at least March 15.

New York residents can check if they may be eligible for HEAP, by contacting ProAction at 776-2125, the county DSS at 776-7611 or by answering a few questions online at myBenefits.ny.gov.