Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can help you meet the costs of home heating if you are an income-eligible homeowner or renter.
- Our staff processes your regular HEAP application if you do not receive Public Assistance or Food Stamps and are:
- 60 or over or
- If you are disabled and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD).
- The benefit for your household is based on:
- Your income
- The type of heat in your home
- If the household pays for heating directly to a utility or fuel vendor, the benefit is directed to the customer's account as a credit.
- Householders who pay unsubsidized rent, which includes all heating and utility costs, receive a direct benefit.
- HEAP guidelines and application procedures change from year to year.
- The HEAP application process starts in November of each year and ends in the Spring.
- Emergency HEAP benefits are processed at the Department of Social Services, only. Call 778-2638
HEAP can also determine your eligibility for the Life Line Telephone Discount Program.
- The Life Line Program offers a reduced monthly charge on your phone bill and a discount to eligible households for connection and re-connection.
For more information or to request an application, call the HEAP Unit at (607) 778-2063.
More information on HEAP, including income guidelines, can be found on the New York State website: http://www.otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/. You may also print an application at home from the website when the HEAP season is open.
* To apply online, go to www.mybenefits.ny.gov
Other resources for energy savings:
Tioga Opportunities - Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) agency for Broome and Tioga counties. Free weatherization services for HEAP eligible homeowners. www.Tiogaopp.org Phone: 687.0944 Toll-free: 1.877.786.2419
New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA) - No cost energy efficiency services for income qualified households. www.nyserda.org Phone: 1.800.263.0960
New York State Public Service Commission Consumer Website - Consumer protections, assistance programs, tips on utility service, how to shop for utility services, telephone lifeline service, energy tax credits. www.askpsc.com
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): What to Expect
With fall here, Alice and Tom began worrying about rising heating costs. They had saved some money to pay for their heat this winter. However, after Alice's recent illness, that money was gone. With no savings, they were afraid of having to choose between buying medications and paying for heat.
Alice had contacted the Office for Aging Senior Resource Line during her illness. She decided to call again about heating assistance and dialed 607.778.2411. The Senior Resource Line connected her with a HEAP staff person.
The staff asked Alice about her and Tom's annual income. “Good news,” she said. Their combined income was within the guideline to apply for HEAP. The HEAP staff offered to mail them an application. Alice worried about filling out the application correctly, but the staff assured her that she could call with any questions. Alice left her name and address for an application to be mailed to her.
The HEAP application arrived a couple of days later. It was much easier than they expected. Since Alice's illness made going out difficult, they were relieved that they did not have to apply in person. After completing and signing the application, they mailed it to the address on the form.
A few months later, Alice and Tom learned that they were going to receive a credit on their fuel bill to help with their winter heating costs.
Tom told his friend Bill about HEAP. Bill's hours were cut at work and he had been unable to find another job to supplement his Social Security. He worried about paying for his next oil delivery. Bill left his name and number on the HEAP voicemail. He later learned that he also qualified to receive a HEAP benefit.
With Alice fully recovered in the spring, she and Tom looked back on winter. Thanks to HEAP, their home stayed warm. Being able to pay their heating bills provided them with peace of mind.
Alice and Tom put aside some money for the next winter. However, they knew they could apply for HEAP again this year. Since they received HEAP last season, an application arrived in the mail in late summer for the upcoming heating season. They filled it out and felt confident they could survive the winter.