New York State Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) is reminding Queens residents today that financial assistance is available for eligible residents to help lessen the financial burden associated with the rising cost of home heating from this winter.
The Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, is funded by the federal government, administered by the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and is managed by local social service agencies. The Regular component of the HEAP program is opened for enrollment until May 15, 2008.
The amount of HEAP aid is determined based on household income, heating expenses, number of family members that reside in the household and the type of heat used. Under the program the maximum amount in benefits are granted to households with the lowest income and the highest energy cost in relation to income.
“Throughout the winter, countless New Yorkers were saddled with record high heating bills,” Padavan said. As oil prices continue to rise to all time record highs, that burden continues to grow. HEAP has been instrumental in helping many City residents face the rising cost of home energy prices. I urge all eligible residents, seniors and families to apply for HEAP assistance before the May 15th deadline.”
On February 11, the City and State announced that a second emergency benefit would be available for heat and heat related emergencies to enrollees that have received HEAP benefits and are still in an emergency situation. Residents eligible for the second emergency benefit will be informed by the New York Human Resource Administration.
The second emergency benefit was made possible due to the release of $82 million in federal HEAP contingency funds. The amount of the emergency benefit is increased from $600 to $700 for approved types of home heating energy. Eligible recipients of the second emergency HEAP benefit have until May 15th, 2008 to enroll.
Padavan also noted that an additional program is available to help certain HEAP recipients reduce their energy bill. The EMPOWER New York program provides no-cost energy services for homes or apartment buildings with 100 units or less and are electric or gas customers of Con Edison or Keyspan National Grid. Some services include the replacement of old and energy inefficient appliances, installation new energy efficient lighting and smart and effective tips on how to save and conserve energy.
For more information on the EMPOWER Program resident should call 1-800-263-0960. For questions and more information regarding the HEAP program, residents should call 311.