NEW YORK (WWTI) —  Winter can be a challenging time for individuals and families trying to pay their bills and keep their homes warm.

According to the New York Public Service Commission, electric and natural gas bills are expected to be higher for the 2021-2022 winter season than last year, with natural gas projected to increase by an average of about 21% statewide. Propane has also increased about 30% since last winter according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Propane Pricing Dashboard.

What is HEAP?

New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income people with the cost of heating their homes. Qualified applicants can receive one regular HEAP benefit per season and may also be eligible for an emergency HEAP benefit if they are in impending danger of running out of fuel or having their utility service shut off. The emergency HEAP benefit for the current season will open on January 3, 2022.

This season’s application period opened in October and continues through winter until funding for the program runs out. HEAP may help individuals who heat their homes with electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, propane, wood or wood pellets, kerosene and corn.

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible if:

  • You and the members of your household are U.S. citizens, U.S. non-citizen nationals or qualified aliens; and
  • You provide a valid Social Security number for each household member; and
  • You receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, Temporary Assistance or Supplemental Security Income; or
  • Your monthly household income is at or below the HEAP income guidelines.
  • You may be eligible for HEAP, even if you:
    • Own your home
    • Pay for heat as part of your rent
    • Have money in the bank, stocks, bonds or other resources

2021-2022 HEAP Monthly Income Limits

In order to meet income requirements, your total household gross monthly income for your household size must be at or below the following guidelines:

Household SizeMaximum Gross Monthly Income
Each additionalAdd $568

How do I apply?

New York residents living outside of New York City can apply online via the official New York State website.

HEAP applicants will need the following to apply for assistance:

  • Proof of residency with one of the following:
    • Rent receipt with address
    • Copy of lease with address
    • Water, sewer or tax bill
    • Homeowner’s insurance policy
    • Mortgage payment receipt
    • Deed
    • Utility bill
    • A current fuel or utility bill, or a statement from your landlord that your heat and/or utilities are included in your rent.
    • Recent pay stubs to provide proof of total current monthly income for all household members.
    • For each person in your household you will need one of the following:
      • Photo ID
      • Driver’s license
      • Birth certificate or baptismal certificate
      • School records
      • Passport
      • Paperwork documenting a disability for anyone in your household