Heating Assistance Now Available

By Matt Porter

Applications are now being accepted for the New York State Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

November 19, 2012 Updated Nov 19, 2012 at 7:20 PM EDT

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.

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