Tonawanda News — The Federal Government has released additional Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding, increasing New York’s total for the 2013-14 heating season to more than $366 million, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The additional funding will enable New York to continue operating the regular benefit component of the Home Energy Assistance Program into February.
“The recent extreme cold weather has taken a toll on households statewide struggling to afford their heating bill to keep their families warm,” Cuomo said. “This additional funding will be essential in helping eligible New Yorkers this season, and I urge those in need of assistance to apply as soon as possible.”
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released $454 million in LIHEAP funding to states, providing an additional $50.6 million for New York. That brings New York’s total for the 2013-14 HEAP season to $366.8 million.
HEAP is a federally-funded program administered through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
“We are grateful that our partners at the federal level recognize the challenges many states are facing due to extreme winter conditions,” said OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud. “We know there are still many households in need of assistance, and the funding released yesterday will help address that need.”
Eligible households in New York may receive one regular HEAP benefit per season and could also be eligible for an emergency benefit if they are in impending danger of running out of fuel or having their utility service shut off. More than 1.3 million households have already received HEAP assistance this winter.
“No New York family should ever be left in the cold,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said. “But with bitter cold temperatures and rising energy costs, families and seniors who are struggling in this tough economy can’t afford to heat their homes. This funding is a lifeline for New Yorkers who rely on it so they can stay warm this winter.”
Anyone in the Western New York area who is seeking a regular HEAP benefit can submit an application online at myBenefits.ny.gov. Those who need emergency assistance should contact their local department of social services.
For more information about HEAP, visit otda.ny.gov/programs/heap.