The New York State Home Energy Assistance Program starts Monday, Nov. 19. HEAP is a federally funded home energy assistance program intended to assist low-income households in meeting their heating expenses.
Base benefits can range from $400 to $600. For those eligible households with heat included in their rent, the benefit will be $20 or $25. For households heating with kerosene, oil and propane the base benefit is $600. For households heating with wood, coal or other deliverable fuel the base benefit is $500.
Customers under the age of 60 who are not receiving public assistance and/or food stamps (SNAP) and did not receive HEAP last year may apply at Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., in Dunkirk - 10825 Bennett Rd. - or in Jamestown - 402 Chandler St. Hours of service are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appointments are not needed and applications should be completed prior to arriving.
New this year, anyone who received HEAP benefits last year now has the option to apply online at www.otda.state.ny.us/main/heap. A printable application is also available online or one may be picked up at COI offices. Customers may call toll free at (855) 755-0489 for more information.
All HEAP applicants must be at or below the income eligibility guidelines.
The 2012-2013 income guidelines are (household size, income limit per month): one, $2,138; two, $2,796; three, $3,453; four, $4,111; five, $4,769; six, $5,427; seven, $5,550; eight, $5,673; nine, $5,797; 10, $5,920; 11, $6,346; each additional person, add $495.
All required documentation along with a completed application must be provided at the time of application. Supporting documents, including proof of income and heating bills are required at time of application. For a complete list of necessary documents, visit the website or call the toll free number. Anyone with incomplete or missing documentation will have their application pended for a maximum of 10 days. If the documentation has not been provided within that time frame, the application will be denied. Those having a heating emergency should contact the Department of Social Services at 753-4421.