Emergency heating assistance available to St. Lawrence County customers struggling to pay fuel bills
Thursday, January 3, 2013 - 2:12 pm

Low income families may now apply for extra help through the Home Energy Assistance Program.

The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) announced Wednesday that eligible low-income customers who are in danger of having their heat shut off or running out of fuel, can apply for emergency (HEAP) benefits.

HEAP, overseen by OTDA, is a federally-funded program to help eligible households in meeting their home energy needs. Eligible households can receive one regular HEAP benefit per season, but may also be eligible for a one-time emergency HEAP benefit if they are in danger of running out of fuel or having their heat or heat-related utility service shut off.

Eligibility for emergency HEAP benefits is based on income, available resources, and the type of emergency. For example, a family of four can have a household income of $49,333 a year and may still qualify for a HEAP benefit.

A complete list of where to apply locally can be found at otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/HEAP-contacts.pdf. More information can also be found by calling the New York State HEAP Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.

New Yorkers can check if they may be eligible for HEAP, and numerous other benefits, by answering a few questions online at myBenefits.ny.gov.

Emergency HEAP benefit amounts are listed below:

Emergency HEAP Benefit Amounts for 2012-2013

Type of Emergency Amount

Heat Related Domestic (electric service required to operate heating equipment) $160

Natural Gas Heat Only $400

Natural Gas Combined with Heat Related Domestic $560

Electric Heat Combined with Heat Related Domestic $560

Non-utility heating fuel (oil, kerosene, and propane) $600

Non-utility heating fuel (wood, pellets, coal, corn, etc.) $500