Temperatures are dropping and many local residents may grow concerned about the ability to afford the high cost of heating their homes. That's why Suffolk Legislator Tom Donnelly (D-Huntington Station) wants to inform local residents that the Suffolk County Office for the Aging will begin processing applications for the 2019-2020 Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which provides financial assistance for qualifying households, on Tuesday, November 12.
"Our most vulnerable neighbors should never have to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table," Legislator Donnelly said. "Luckily, HEAP will again provide much needed assistance to Suffolk County seniors struggling to cover their expenses."
Depending on the primary heating source, qualifying senior citizen homeowners can receive a basic HEAP benefit of between $350 and $726 for oil, propane, kerosene natural gas or electricity. Renters can receive a benefit of $30 or $35. Each year, thousands of Suffolk County households receive assistance through HEAP. Assistance is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis while available.
Applications were already mailed out to households that received a benefit in last year’s 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 for 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 $2,494, for a 2-person household the limit is $3,262 and for a 3, 4, or 5-person household it cannot exceed $4,030, $4,797, or $5,565 respectively. For more information or maximum monthly income levels for larger households, call the Department of Social Services HEAP Unit at (631) 853-8820.
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) 854-6684/6685.
“I urge all residents who qualify or even think they may qualify to apply for this vital assistance," Legislator Donnelly said.