This month, low-income New Yorkers can start applying in November for assistance to help pay their energy bills during the winter.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that helps millions of households who spend a large percentage of their income on energy bills
In a statement about the program, Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Queens) said, “As in past years, applications will become available in my two district offices (Howard Beach and Middle Village) during the first half of November – I urge my constituents to take advantage of this program now that the heating season has begun. As energy costs are on the rise and the economy continues to struggle, residents must be informed of helpful programs like LIHEAP to help them through the difficult winter months. Heating your home is vital to your health and well-being.” Addabbo advised further that this type of help can go a long way for struggling families, seniors on fixed incomes and people out of work, in paying energy costs to keep the heat on in their homes.
Households that applied last year will automatically receive a new application in the mail. New applicants can apply at the state website liheap.ncat.org, at the federal website www.acf.hhs.gov. Anyone without internet access can get help applying for LIHEAP by calling the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project. NEAR representatives are available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1-800-674-6327.
According to the statement from Addabbo’s office, 1.3 million New York households received enough LIHEAP assistance to cut their energy bills in half.
“If you can’t afford to pay your home energy bill, you can face safety risks. Some people resort to unsafe methods to keep their homes warm, including the use of stoves and improperly vented portable heaters, which are fire and carbon monoxide hazards,” Addabbo said. “We do not want to see people on the streets because they can’t afford to pay their heating bills.”