Air conditioner in window

May 01, 2020

New York State Announces $6 Million in Cooling Assistance for Vulnerable New Yorkers

Air Conditioners Available for Those Suffering from Illnesses Aggravated by Heat and Humidity

Program has Provided $18 Million to Low-Income Households Over Five Years

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance today announced that $6 million is now available to help low-income New Yorkers who suffer from serious health issues exacerbated by heat to stay cool during the upcoming summer months. Cooling assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides an air conditioner to eligible households with a family member who suffers from a medical condition that can be aggravated by extreme heat.

“For all too many New Yorkers, the hot weather associated with summer can bring a lethal risk,” said Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Michael P. Hein. “The cooling assistance provided by this program can be a lifesaver for low-income New Yorkers with certain medical conditions. We encourage all eligible households to utilize this critical resource to ensure their loved ones remain safe during the coming months.”

To qualify for the federally-funded program, applicants must meet existing HEAP eligibility criteria and income guidelines, which vary by household size, and have at least one member of the household that suffers from a documented medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat. For example, a household of four can earn up to $57,564 a year, or $4,797 a month, and still qualify for assistance.

Applications for cooling assistance are accepted at local departments of social services starting today and extending through August 30, or until funding runs out. Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the program provided $3.3 million to a total of 4,800 households last year. Roughly $18 million in cooling assistance has been distributed to more than 25,000 households throughout New York over the past five years.

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