Immediate Release

Monday, November 3, 2008 

For Information Contact

(315)  798-5800

Picente: Oneida County HEAP Program
Begins Taking Applications

 

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., today announced that Oneida County has begun accepting applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

 “HEAP is a valuable program to help people meet the staggering costs of heating their homes,” Picente said. “ Oneida County is pleased to work with those who are in need, and the community, to help address this urgent need.”

            HEAP assists low-income households with heating costs. This is done by providing a one time per program year benefit to eligible households. This benefit is sent directly to the household’s heating or utility vendor. HEAP consists of three components: regular HEAP, emergency HEAP and Heating Equipment Repair/ Replacement.

Eligibility for a regular benefit is based on gross income and household size. All available resources are considered when determining eligibility for an emergency benefit. The income guidelines have increased slightly for 2008-2009. This chart lists the maximum monthly, bi-weekly and weekly gross income according to household size.  

Household Size

Monthly Income

Bi-Weekly Income

Weekly Income

1

$1963.00

$906.22

$453.00

2

$2567.00

$1184.76

$592.38

3

$3172.00

$1464.00

$732.00

4

$3776.00

$1742.76

$871.38

5

$4380.00

$2021.53

$1010.76

6

$4984.00

$2300.30

$1150.15

7

$5097.00

$2352.46

$1176.23

8

$5210.00

$2404.61

$1202.30

9

$5324.00

$2457.23

$1228.61

10

$5437.00

$2509.38

$1254.69

11

$5800.00

$2676.92

$1338.46

11+

+$450.00

+$207.68

+$103.84

The regular benefit amount ranges up to $800, an increase over last year’s benefit levels. The benefit amount is calculated on a point system and points are based on gross monthly income, household size, heat source and the presence of a vulnerable household member. Vulnerable is defined as someone age 60 or older or under age 6 or in receipt of SSI, social security disability or veterans’ disability benefits. There need not be a vulnerable household member to receive a benefit.

Emergency benefits are available for heating equipment repair and replacement, heating fuel and heat related utility emergencies for eligible households. An emergency is defined as equal toor less than ¼ of a tank of fuel oil, kerosene or propane, less than 10 days supply of wood or other fuel or within three days of termination for a heat/utility account or applicant owned heating equipment that is inoperable or unsafe to use.

            The Heating Equipment Repair/Replacement component of the HEAP Program is open year round. Eligibility for the Heating Equipment Repair/Replacement component is based on the same criteria as the emergency benefit but also includes verification of ownership, mortgage and taxes must not be delinquent and the residence must be in compliance with the Property Maintenance Code of New York State. For heating equipment replacement only, up to $3000.00 in available liquid resources may be exempt. Households may only receive a furnace replacement once every ten years. Applications for this program component are taken only at the Department of Social Services offices in Utica and Rome .

Eligible households in receipt of Temporary Assistance or Food Stamps may receive automatic payments and need only apply if an automatic payment is not received or if an emergency situation arises.

Applications may be obtained at the following locations:

            Oneida County Department of Social Services, HEAP Department, 800 Charlotte Street

            Utica . Phone: 798-5559

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            Oneida County Department of Social Services, HEAP Department, 230 West Dominick           Street , Rome . Phone: 338-0240

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            Mohawk Valley Community Action, 1721 Black River Blvd. , Rome . Phone: 339-2649

The Oneida County offices take applications Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on a first come, first serve basis with priority given to those in an emergency situation.

 Mohawk Valley Community Action gives appointments and is opened Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and Friday 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Emergencies will be assisted immediately but may still be given an appointment. You may also call to make an appointment.

In addition to seeing people in the office on Black River Blvd. , Mohawk Valley Community Action will have outreach sites available. The locations, dates and times will be announced at a later date. There will also be notices posted at outreach sites.

The Office for the Aging also provides outreach service sites. Please call 798-5456 for the locations, dates and times.

Any senior who did not receive a benefit last year but wishes to receive an application in the mail may call 798-5456 and request to be added to the mailing list.

Applications are also available to be down loaded and printed from the state HEAP website at: http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/heap or the Oneida County website at: http://www.ocgov.net

Help is available for those who need assistance completing the application. If you are a senior citizen or disabled contact The Office for the Aging at 798-5456 in Utica or 356-0550 in Rome . Otherwise, contact Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency at 339-2649.

The New York State Department of Temporary Assistance will be mailing applications  to senior citizens and code A SSI recipients that received a benefit in the 2007-2008 benefit year.