Home Heating Assistance Applications Continue to Be Accepted Through Late Springby mmcnamara
Simple grant process can provide help with heating bills
WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. - National Fuel today announced customers can continue to apply for help with their heating bills from the federally funded Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) as grant money remains available through mid May. Theaverage Regular HEAP grant to National Fuel customers during this winter's heating season totaled $450. Availability of a second HEAP Emergency grant totaling $400 has recentlybeen announced. Emergency grants can be easily obtained through one telephone call for individuals who received HEAP funds this year and are at risk of a shut-off.
Higher income guidelines this year mean more people qualify. For example, a family of four that earns $49,128 now may qualify for an initial grant of up to $500 toward its heating bill. Customers can also apply for HEAP through their county Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Senior Services during normal business hours. Erie County also offers other satellite locations where customers can apply for HEAP grants. For a list of those satellite locations, visit www.HEAPhelps.com or call 1-877-443-2743.
Anyone who received a regular HEAP grant last year and still lives in the same county can apply by mail or telephone. If gas service is off or a shut-off notice is received, call or visit a HEAP office immediately. Applications for emergency benefits can be done by telephone if customers already have been approved for the regular HEAP grant. For those living in Allegany or Steuben counties, online applications may be filed.
Appointments for Erie County residents will be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. HEAP outreach hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., unless otherwise indicated. Interviews are conducted on a first come, first served basis.
The schedule and locations for April applications sessions is follows:
Delavan Grider Center
877 East Delavan Ave., Buffalo, N.Y., 14208
United Way of Tonawanda
34 Seymour St., Tonawanda, N.Y., 14150
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) has two major components: regular HEAP grants and emergency HEAP grants. Customers can receive a regular HEAPgrant by meeting the household income eligibility requirements, whether or not they pay separately for their heat. Emergency HEAP grants provide additional assistance in order to avert a heat-related emergency, which may include limited funding for furnace repair and/or replacement. Emergency HEAP grants also are available to prevent termination of heating service, or to restore service that was shut off.
The HEAP program offers two Emergency grants, which must be applied for separately. Customers who have already received an emergency grant, but are still having trouble paying their bills and are faced with a pending termination of service, are encouraged to apply for a second emergency grant.
For more information on the HEAP program and how to apply, visit www.HEAPhelps.com or call 1-877-443-2743. See the chart below for this year's income eligibility guidelines.
2010-11 Income Guidelines
Household Monthly Maximum Annual Maximum
Size Income Limit Income Limit
1 $2,129 $25,548
2 $2,784 $33,408
3 $3,439 $41,268
4 $4,094 $49,128
5 $4,749 $56,988
6 $5,404 $64,848
For income guidelines for larger households, visit HEAPHelps.com.
Note: The figures shown above are provided as an income-eligibility guide for the 2010-11 HEAP program and are subject to change. County offices for the department of social services determine income-eligibility for customers applying for HEAP benefits.
National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation comprises the Utility segment of National Fuel Gas Company, a diversified energy holding company that is engaged in a number of natural gas-related activities. The Utility provides natural gas service to approximately 500,000 customers in western New York. Additional information about National Fuel and its customer services is available at www.NationalFuelGas.com or by calling 1-800-365-3234.