BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County’s Department of Social Services (ECDSS) will start accepting HEAP applications this Friday, October 1.
HEAP, which stands for Home Energy Assistance Program, is federally funded and designed to help people with their heating bills. Eligible households can get one regular HEAP benefit per program year.
Eligibility for HEAP benefits is based on income, household size, primary heating source and the presence of a vulnerable household member. Additionally, those receiving benefits must either be United States citizens or qualified immigrants, Erie County says.
Last season, more than 114,000 HEAP benefits were authorized to Erie County households. These benefits start at $21.
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If you receive Temporary Assistance or SNAP benefits, you may qualify for an automatic basic HEAP benefit. To find out if you need to apply, call (716) 858-7644.
Information on generally applying for HEAP benefits can be found here.
“We expect another busy HEAP season. In light of COVID-19-related safety concerns, we are urging residents with heat service currently on and without a shut off notice to file HEAP applications online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov, by emailing email@example.com to request an application, or by calling the HEAP Phone Center at 858-7644,” Daniel Szewc, ECDSS assistant deputy commissioner, says.
Additionally, Erie County announced that applications for HEAP emergency benefits for households that received a disconnect notice will be accepted starting January 3.