The Home Energy Assistance Program is available to help people cover the costs of heating their home in the winter and cooling their homes in the summer. The Winter 2020 application period is now open (November 2, 2020).

If you are eligible you will get a one-time assistance grant to help cover your costs for winter heating bills. You will need to fill out the forms to find out if you are eligible to get the grant, but you are able to use it toward any way to heat your home, ie gas, oil, electric, etc.

There is also a second type of assistance that could be available to you (up to $400) to help with repairs and preventive maintenance to your heating system. For instance, an annual cleaning of your furnace will help the money you spend on oil go further by the furnace itself running more efficiently. The name of that program is the Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement benefit. The application period for that opened in October 2020.

Both of the programs listed above are based on income, but you will not know if you qualify unless you look at the forms.

Here are just a few of the requirements that will need to be met when you apply, from the NYS HEAP website:

  • You and the members of your household are U.S. citizens, U.S. non-citizen nationals or qualified aliens; and
  • You provide a valid Social Security number for each household member; and
  • You receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Temporary Assistance or Supplemental Security Income; or
    Your monthly household income is at or below the HEAP income guidelines.
  • You may be eligible for HEAP, even if you:
    Own your home
    Pay for heat as part of your rent
  • Have money in the bank, stocks, bonds or other resources

For more information on HEAP, how to apply and what it does and does not cover, click here. For more details on the Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement program, click here.

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