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HEAP can help with cooling costs

There is help for people in Chautauqua dealing with heating and cooling energy costs! Do you know what HEAP can do for you? HEAP has several types of assistance: Regular, Emergency, Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement, and Cooling Assistance.

Right now, we are getting HOT here in Chautauqua County — so think air conditioning! The NY state website for the office of temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) gives us cooling news: otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/

The 2020-2021 Cooling Assistance benefit opened on May 3, 2021 and runs through August 30, 2021. It is a first come-first served program! If you are eligible, you may receive one Cooling Assistance benefit per applicant household for the purchase and installation of an air conditioner or a fan to help your home stay cool. In circumstances where an air conditioner cannot be safely installed, a fan will be provided. Only one air conditioner or fan, not to exceed $800 with installation, will be provided per applicant household. You can be eligible for this cooling benefit if your household gross income is at or below $2610/month. With more people living in the home- the amount on the monthly income requirements, go up.

The goal of this HEAP program is to help people all year long with the cost of heating AND cooling their homes. There is the regular HEAP benefits when we are in cold weather and need help with heating bills. There is even an Equipment repair or replace benefit that helps with furnace or boiler repairs and sometimes replacements for these big ticket items! Really, HEAP has everything you may need. They even have a Clean and Tune benefit that covers cleaning of primary heating equipment, but may also include chimney cleaning, minor repairs, installation of carbon monoxide detectors or programmable thermostats.

You must be a homeowner, have the qualifying monthly income for the # in your household, you receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or you receive Temporary Assistance or you receive Code A Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (Living Alone).

You can call NY Connects for more information regarding the cooling HEAP benefit. You can go to the Chautauqua County website chqgov.com/humansocial-services/home-energy-assistance-program-heap in Health and human Services to see our local agency that helps people with the HEAP benefit. There is a quick video there about HEAP and its benefits. You can fill out an application on line using the web page myBenefits.ny.gov https://www.mybenefits.ny.gov/mybenefits/begin. This is a great web resource that lets you apply for many benefits like HEAP, SNAP, WIC, temporary assistance, veterans’ benefits, EPIC, tax credits, and health insurances in the NY state marketplace. If you want to talk with someone directly, you can call Chautauqua County Dept. of Health & human Services-HEAP at 716-753-4385

NY Connects is your access to local community services and supports open to all residents living in Chautauqua County. This service is confidential and free. Our phone number is 800-342-9871 or local Mayville 716-753-4582, Jamestown 716-661-7582, Dunkirk 716-363-4582. Call us on the phone or email ccnyc@chqgov.com. NY Connects is brought to you by a partnership with Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.

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