As temperatures drop into the low-30s this week, applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and HeartShare Human Services’ Neighborhood Heating Fund are now available at Assemblyman Wiliam Colton’s Office (155 Kings Highway) and Assemblyman Peter Abbate’s Office (6605 Fort Hamilton Parkway).
Counselors speaking English, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish and will be available to help residents complete and submit the applications Monday through Friday at both offices, during normal business hours. Applicants of both programs are urged to apply as soon as possible so that they can receive maximum assistance.
“I encourage all residents who believe they qualify for these services to visit my community office and speak with a constituent case counselor who can help them apply for these benefits,” said Colton. “In this winter season, it is important to ensure that those who are struggling to pay for their home heating costs receive the help that they need”.
Confused? Here’s a breakdown of eligibility requirement for both programs.
HEAP Heating Assistance is a government-operated program that helps low-income people with heating costs for their homes. The 2015-2016 enrollment period opened November 16, 2015. HEAP Benefits will continue to be provided until all funds are exhausted.
Your household may be eligible for a HEAP Regular Heating Assistance benefit you and your household members are United States Citizens or qualified aliens and any of the following conditions are met:
- Your household’s gross monthly income is at or below the current income guides for your household size as posted in the table below ($2,244 for a household size of one person; $2,935 for a household size of two people; $3,625 for a household size of three people; $4,316 for a household size of four people, etc.)
- You receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
- You receive Temporary Assistance
- You receive Code A Supplemental Security Income (SSI Living Alone)
Regular HEAP Benefit Amounts 2015-2016
$21- Eligible households that live in government subsidized housing or a group home setting with heat included in their rent.
$30 – $35 – Eligible households who have heating costs included as part of their rent.
$575 + applicable add-ons – Eligible households whose primary heat is oil, kerosene, or propane and who make direct payments to the vendor for heating costs.
$500 + applicable add-ons – Eligible households whose primary heat is wood, wood pellets, coal, corn or other deliverable fuel and who make direct payments to the vendor for heating costs.
$350 + applicable add-ons – Eligible households whose primary heat is electricity or natural gas and who make direct payments based on their household’s actual usage to the vendor.
Regular Benefit Add-Ons for Households Paying Directly for Heat
- The amount of the base Regular benefit will be increased by $25 if the household’s gross income is in the Tier 1 income range (at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level).
- The amount of the base Regular benefit will be increased by $25 if the household contains a vulnerable individual (household member who is age 60 or older, under age 6 or permanently disabled).
Household Size/Maximum Gross Monthly Income
1 – $2,244
2 – $2,935
3 – $3,625
4 – $4,316
5 – $5,006
6 – $5,697
7 – $5,826
8 – $5,956
9 – $6,085
10 – $6,215
Each additional family member – add $520
How to Apply:
You may call 1 (800)692-0557 (HEAP Information Line) to request a HEAP application, or visit Colton’s office or Abbate’s office to receive an application.
The Neighborhood Heating Fund was founded by National Grid in 1983 to help low-income families and individuals with elevated energy bills meet their monthly payments. In 1993 HeartShare Human Services of New York was asked to administer the fund. Together, National Grid and HeartShare now assist over 1,200 families each heating season, providing energy assistance benefits. This program runs December through March each year.
Working in partnership with National Grid, Con Edison and Entergy, HeartShare Human Services, supported largely by donations from the community, makes grants of up to $200 to those in need or those on the verge of having their energy services disconnected. Each year, HeartShare helps thousands of low-income individuals and families throughout New York City pay their heating and cooling bills.
HeartShare Heating Assistance Income Guidelines:
- Individuals and families are eligible to receive assistance from HeartShare’s Neighborhood Heating Fund if their income falls within the income guidelines for HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program).
- Please view the chart posted above to see additional income guideline requirements and determine if your household falls within the income guidelines.
- To apply for a HeartShare energy grant, the household must be a National Grid customer. Grants are only limited to 1 to 2-family dwellings, including some apartments (if the household member(s) pay(s) for his/her/their own heat).
- Households can receive up to $200 in an energy assistance grant from HeartShare, depending upon the amount of the National Grid bill. (For example, if the bill is $175.80, the grant will be $175.80. If the bill is $400, the grant will only be $200.)
- Individuals and families cannot receive a monetary credit. Applicants are allowed to apply once per heating season.
- People can apply for both HEAP and HeartShare benefits.
How to Apply:
You can apply for HeartShare’s Heating Assistance benefit by completing an application and visiting Colton’s office at 155 Kings Highway. For more information about the Neighborhood Heating Fund, you may call HeartShare directly at (718) 422-4207 or call Colton’s Office at (718) 236-1598 or Abbate’s Office at (718) 236-1764.
If the applicant has already received HEAP Benefits than their HEAP Acceptance Letter satisfies all proof of income and identification requirements. If the applicant does not have proof of HEAP they must provide the following documents (one from each category):
- Proof of Income. Last two payroll stubs; recent social security award letter; unemployment payment receipts; OR income tax return (for self-employed individuals). ALL WORKING HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS 18 AND OLDER MUST PROVIDE PROOF OF INCOME EXCEPT FOR DEPENDENT, FULL-TIME STUDENTS. If there is a dependent, full-time student in the household, a letter of attendance from the student’s school will be required. If there if a household member 18 or older that is NOT employed, a notarized letter stating so will be required.
- Proof of ID. Driver’s License/permit; State Identification Card; Birth Certificate; school record; Passport; OR Social Security Card. ONE PIECE OF IDENTIFICATION IS REQUIRED FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD, INCLUDING CHILDREN.
- Heating Bill. Most recent National Grid bill for the household is required. There has to be a balance due on the bill in order to receive heating assistance from HeartShare.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article misstated the open hours