Millions Available to Help Southern Tier Residents Heat Their Homes
More money is available through a federal program to help lower-income families stay warm this winter.
U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D) has announced around $60 million in the $1-billion Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, otherwise known as “LIHEAP”, will be going to help over a million New York households pay heating bills in the face of rising fuel costs.
According to the Broome County Department of Social Services, the Home Energy Assistance Program may be able to help lower income residents cover their heating costs if they heat their home with electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, propane, wood or wood pellets, kerosene or even corn.
The 2022-2023 regular HEAP benefit period is scheduled to open November 1, 2022.
Award of benefits is based on eligibility that includes income, household size, the home’s primary heating source and if a member of the household is under the age of 6, aged 60 or older or permanently disabled.
People who receive regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or “SNAP” benefits may also be eligible.
There are also emergency benefits available to residents in a situation where their source of heating is off or in danger of being shut off or if fuel has run out.
New York State also has programs available to help make repairs to heating equipment.
The New York State Home Energy Assistance Program information can be found online at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/ .
Information on LIHEAP and HEAP can also be found through local departments of social services. In Broome County go to www.gobroomecounty.com/dss/assistance/heap.
People can call the program’s contact center number in Broome County at 607-778-1100 and press 8 to speak to someone in the HEAP unit. The hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.