By Senator Patty Ritchie
As winter continues, the decision of whether to keep the heat on or pay for necessities like medications, gas or food is unfortunately one that far too many people have to make.
However, there is good news regarding New York State’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
Because of this winter’s severe weather, New York State is making available an extra $15 million in funding to help eligible New Yorkers heat their homes.
Through HEAP, a second round of applications is now being accepted from households in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off.
This means homes already having received a benefit may apply for another.
It is recommended you apply as soon as possible.
To learn more about HEAP, program changes for this winter and to fill out an application, you can visit https://mybenefits.ny.gov/mybenefits/begin or obtain an application at your local Department of Social Services office (listed below):
Jefferson County Department of Social Services
250 Arsenal St., Watertown, NY
Oswego County Department of Social Services
100 Spring St., Mexico, NY
St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services
6 Judson St., Canton, NY
In addition to applying for this special benefit, households can also apply for an emergency benefit if they are in danger of having their heat turned off, or they are running out of fuel.
The deadline to apply for both this second round of HEAP assistance and the emergency assistance is April 26.
As winter continues to throw severe weather our way, join me in ensuring our seniors, family, friends and neighbors stay warm by sharing this lifesaving information to apply for this important program.