Legis. Lou D'Amaro, D-Huntington Station, is reminding residents that the Suffolk County Office for the Aging is processing applications for the 2012-13 Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which provides financial assistance for qualifying senior citizen households.
"Times are tough and our most vulnerable residents should not have to choose whether to heat their homes or put food on the table," D'Amaro said. "Luckily, the HEAP program provides much needed assistance to Suffolk County seniors struggling through this difficult economic period."
Depending on their primary heating source, qualifying homeowners and renters can receive the regular HEAP benefit of between $400 and $650 for oil, propane, kerosene natural gas or electricity. Last year, thousands of Suffolk County households received assistance through HEAP. Assistance is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis while available.
Applications were mailed out in August to households who received a benefit in the 2011-12 program. Individuals who have not previously received the benefit and wish to submit a new application to the Office for the Aging must meet one of the following conditions:
- Age 60 or older, or
- Under 60 and receiving Social Security Disability, or
- Under 60 and receiving Supplemental Security Income Code A.
To request an application, call the Office of the Aging HEAP Hotline at 631-853-8326.
Applicants who do not meet the Office for the Aging guidelines may still qualify based on HEAP Tier Income Guidelines for income and household size. A family’s gross monthly household income must be at or below the poverty standards set by New York State for HEAP. For example, monthly income for a 1-person household cannot exceed $2,138, for a 2-person household the limit is $2,796 and for a 3 or 4-person household it cannot exceed $3,453 or $4,111 respectively.
For more information, call the HEAP hotline at 631-853-8825. Non-emergency new applications can be obtained and completed in person at the Suffolk County Department of Social Services South West Center, located at 2 South 2nd Street in Deer Park, 631-854-6684 or accessed online at http://otda.ny.gov/programs/apply/#heap
“I urge all residents who qualify or even think they may qualify to apply for this assistance," D'Amaro said.