HEAP (The Home Energy Assistance Program) is a federally funded program which may help with heating needs. Regular HEAP opens today, and Emergency HEAP opens Jan. 2.
Under the program, eligible individuals can receive a one-time-only payment. HEAP payments vary depending on household income, vulnerability and type of heating. If awarded, these benefits are sent directly to vendors. The regular HEAP benefit is intended to be a one-time supplement to annual energy costs and is not intended to replace personal payments. One should continue to pay energy bills. Individuals who are eligible for HEAP will see the credit on their heating bill after November. Certifiers may not issue any guarantee of regular benefit payments prior to program opening today.
County residents ages 60 and over should review the following information regarding the HEAP application process:
1. Those who did not receive HEAP benefits last year can apply by contacting the senior services office in their area. The contact information for Office for the Aging is: 363-3865, Dunkirk; 661-8940, Jamestown; and 753-4471, Mayville.
Applications will be received sometime after HEAP opens. Documents need to be supplied with applications. It is very important that all questions on the application are answered. OFA should be able to process applications with the information provided. If however, there is incomplete or unclear information, applicants will be contacted for verification. This delay may slow the processing of the application.
2. Those who are receiving benefits from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-formerly the Food Stamp program) and are living in an eligible situation will not receive an application, and the HEAP benefit will be processed automatically with the information in the SNAP case.
3. Those who received HEAP last year should have received their HEAP applications by now. Those who have not received their applications should contact the senior services office in their area.
The following are the income-eligibility guidelines for this year's HEAP program:
Monthly Gross Income
Individuals under the age of 60 and not in receipt of SNAP (Food Stamps) should contact Chautauqua Opportunities at 1-855-755-0489 regarding the application process.