Opportunities for Otsego Commences the 2011-2012 HEAP Season

By Bryan Mercer

Opportunities for Otsego Commences the 2011-2012 HEAP Season

September 24, 2011 Updated Sep 24, 2011 at 9:17 AM EDT

Oneonta, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The 2011-2012 HEAP season opens Wednesday, November 16.

Households who receive public assistance and/or food stamps will obtain heating benefits through their DSS Caseworker.

Heads of household over age 60 may apply through the Otsego County Office for the Aging. All other households may submit a HEAP application through Opportunities for Otsego.

Opportunities for Otsego will begin scheduling appointments on Wednesday, November 9th.

Appointments are available 8:00AM-5:00PM, Monday-Friday and in the evenings on Monday and Wednesday. All appointments are in Oneonta.

HEAP is a federally funded program, administered at the county level, which assists income-eligible households in meeting their winter heating costs.

The program supports payment for electricity, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, coal, or other heating fuels.

HEAP may also coordinate furnace repair and/or a replacement benefit for homeowners with inoperable heating equipment.

Benefit amounts for the 2011-2012 HEAP season have been reduced.

The base benefit for oil, kerosene, and propane is $450; wood, pellets, coal, and corn is $250; and natural gas, utilities/electric heat is $250.

Distribution of emergency benefits begins after January 3, 2012. Households are encouraged to plan accordingly.

For more information on HEAP and the programs of Opportunities for Otsego, visit www.ofoinc.org or call 607.433.8000/800.986.5463.

Opportunities for Otsego is a Community Action Agency that has been fighting the "War on Poverty" in Otsego County since 1966. The agency strives to alleviate poverty and fosters self-sufficiency through comprehensive and holistic client-centered services. OFO’s mission is to be the leader in developing innovative solutions that promote healthy lives, thriving families, and caring communities.

OFO is a member agency of the United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties.