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Heating help available for low income families

As cold temperatures begin to creep in and residents are begin to face bills for heating, those struggling to keep their houses comfortable can look to the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), said Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).

“New Yorkers are tough, but the reality is that many families need a little assistance to stay warm during the winter months,” he said.

HEAP helps renters and homeowners keep their homes warm by covering the costs of electricity, wood, kerosene, coal, oil, propane, natural gas or other heating fuels. The program also offers funds to eligible families for any repairs to necessary home-heating equipment.

The application for regular HEAP benefits is now open. Eligibility for the program is based on income, household size, primary heating source and whether a member of the household is under the age of 6, over the age of 60 or permanently disabled.

Applications for assistance are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. This year, a family of four that has a household income of up to $4,797 a month, may qualify for help and each household can receive up to $726 in assistance. Applications for an extra emergency benefit open on Jan. 2, and are available to households that are in danger of having their service shut off or have run out of fuel.

To learn more or to apply for HEAP, visit mybenefits.ny.gov or contact the Suffolk County Social Services Department at (631) 854-9930. You can also call the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Hotline at (1-800) 342-3009.

“As your Assembly member, your health and safety is important to me,” the legislator said. I encourage anyone who needs assistance to apply for HEAP. As always, please feel free to contact me with questions about this or any community issue at (631) 537-2583 or [email protected]

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