ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — New Yorkers in need of help paying their heating bills can begin applying for home heating assistance starting Nov. 1, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday.

The federally-funded Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can provide up to $976 to help low and middle-income households and senior citizens heat their homes this winter amid high energy costs.

The program will determine heating assistance based on applicants’ income, household size, how they heat their home, and if the household contains a vulnerable member. A family of four may have a maximum gross monthly income of $5,485, or an annual gross income of $65,829, and still qualify for benefits.

Eligible households can receive one regular benefit per season and could also receive an emergency benefit if they are in danger of having their utility service shut off. Emergency applications will begin to be accepted Jan. 3, 2023.

Residents outside New York City can apply online here for regular heating assistance benefits. Applications will also be accepted at local departments or social services in-person or by telephone with funding allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.