Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Applications are now being accepted to help local low-income residents deal with the chill of winter.
HEAP, or the New York State Home Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded initiative to help low income residents cover the cost of heating their homes.
Assistance is determined based on income and the number of people in a household.
Eligible households will receive one lump sum benefit for the winter that can range up to $650.
"The maximum benefit is up to $650 depending on the household," said Broome County Department of Social Services Deputy Commissioner Sandy Sanzo, "About $600 for oil, depending on if it's a wood source it would drop down to $500, and $400 if it's a natural gas source."
In an emergency, people can apply for an extra benefit if they're heat is about to run out starting on January 2, 2013.
Even a family of four with a household income of $49,333 a year can apply for HEAP benefits.
Applicants should apply early, as benefits are given on a first come, first serve basis.
You can find out if your eligible by visiting the state's benefit eligibility website.