One of the many various services available to seniors in New York is the HEAPi program which is a federally funded program that assists low-income New Yorkers with the cost of heating their homes. There are several HEAP benefits including the:
- Regular Benefit
- Emergency Benefit
- Heating Equipment Repair or Replacement Benefit, and
- Cooling Assistance
To qualify for any of the four benefits the total household gross monthly income for a household size must be at or below the following:
|Household Size||Maximum Gross Monthly Income|
The Regular benefit assists with the cost of heating homes. Eligibility and benefits are based on income, household size, the primary heating source, and the presence of a household member who is age 60 or older or permanently disabled.
The Emergency benefit assists those who are facing a heat or heat related energy emergency and who do not have available liquid resources that exceed the established limits. Eligibility and benefits are based on income, available resources, and the type of emergency. Examples of emergencies include:
- Electricity is necessary for the heating system or thermostat to work and is either shut-off or scheduled to be shut off or
- Electric or natural gas heat is off or scheduled to be shut-off or
- A household is out of fuel, or less than one quarter tank of fuel oil, kerosene or propane or has less than a ten (10) day supply of a deliverable heat source.
In addition to the income limit (listed above) the household’s available resources are less than $3,000 if any member of your household is age 60 or older.
The Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement benefit is available to help eligible low-income homeowners repair or replace furnaces, boilers and other direct heating equipment necessary to keep the home’s primary heating source functional. Benefit amounts are based on the actual cost incurred to replace or repair the applicant’s furnace, boiler, and/or other essential heating equipment, up to a maximum of $6,500.
To receive a benefit, an application must be made in person at the local department of social services (“DSS”) and the applicant must receive a determination from the local DSS that they have met all established eligibility criteria, including established income and resource requirements. Benefits are paid directly to vendors after completion of all work. Prior to the start of the repair or replacement, the work must be approved and authorized by the local DSS.
The Cooling Assistance benefit provides for the purchase and installation of air conditioners or a fan to eligible households. Where an air conditioner cannot be safely installed, a fan will be provided. Only one air conditioner or fan, not to exceed $880 with installation, will be provided per dwelling.
Aaron E. Futterman, CPA, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Futterman & Lanza, LLP with offices in Smithtown, NY and clients throughout Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Richmond, New York, Westchester and Rockland Counties. He concentrates his practice to Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Taxes, and Estate Administration.