March 10, 2021

New York State Announces $15 Million in Emergency Heating Assistance for Struggling Households

Second Round of Emergency Assistance Available to Help New Yorkers Heat their Homes

Eligible Households Can Receive Up to $2,371 to Pay Heating Costs, Overdue Utility Bills

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance today announced that an additional $15 million is available to help eligible New Yorkers facing a home heating emergency. Households that have already received emergency assistance from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) this winter can apply for a second round of benefits if they are in danger of running out of fuel or having their service disconnected when the statewide moratorium on utility shutoffs expires at the end of March.

“Even with the spring season nearing, many parts of New York will continue to experience frigid temperatures for weeks to come,” said Mike Hein, commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which administers HEAP. "This additional funding will help ensure struggling New Yorkers, including the most vulnerable among us, can continue to heat their homes until the cold weather breaks.”

Additionally, the deadline to apply for both the regular and emergency HEAP benefits was extended until April 30. With the initial round of HEAP benefits, both rounds of emergency assistance, households can receive up to $2,371 in assistance.

Applications for emergency HEAP are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by telephone. A list of offices by county can be found here.

Households are ordinarily only eligible to receive one regular HEAP benefit each winter and then one emergency HEAP benefit in the event of an energy crisis. Now, households that have already received a regular and emergency benefit can apply for additional assistance if they are faced with the possibility of having a utility shut off or running out of heating fuel without the available resources to replenish it.

Statewide demand for HEAP remains high. This winter, more than 1.3 million households secured regular HEAP benefits, with an additional 30,000 households receiving the first emergency benefit to address a home crisis or life-threatening heating emergency.

The amount a household receives from HEAP depends on their income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can have a household income of up to $60,226 per year, or $5,019 per month, and still qualify for help.

New York State Public Service Law provides temporary protections for essential utility and municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through March 31, utility companies and municipalities may not shut off service for nonpayment and must offer a deferred payment agreement to cover any overdue balance.

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