Home Energy Assistance Program

This article explains the Home Energy Assistance Program, the benefits it offers, how you can apply, and the documentation you need to submit.

The Home Energy Assistance Program (or HEAP) is a federally funded program that provides heating benefits to households who cannot afford heating for their homes. To qualify for HEAP you must meet certain eligibility factors including a low income, debilitating medical condition, or emergency need for assistance.

These are the HEAP benefits:

  • Heating equipment repair and/or replacement (boilers, furnaces).
  • Assistance to households with heat or heat-related emergency.
  • Heating fuel voucher (propane, oil, wood, natural gas, coal).
  • Electricity bill payment or subsidy.


1. Regular Benefit

Nov. 1, 2010 – Oct. 30, 2011

2. Emergency Component

Nov. 1, 2010 – Oct. 30, 2011

3. Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement

Oct. 1,2010 – Sept. 30,2011

Every state has a slightly different set of requirements. In New York, a household of four people will qualify for HEAP if their combined monthly earned income is less than $3,903. In Ohio, if they earn less than $3,675. In Kansas, if they earn less than $2,389. You may also qualify for HEAP assistance if you have a medical condition that prevents you from earning enough to pay for heating, or a recent household emergency such as flood damage. Check your eligibility.

Home Energy Assistance Program

Low-income households may apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program by mail, in person at your local social services office, over the phone, or over the internet.

By Mail

You may apply for HEAP by mail if you received a HEAP benefit in the previous HEAP season and reside in the same county that your application was filed in the previous HEAP season, or if you are age 60 or older, or if you are permanently disabled and receiving Social Security Disability.

In Person

You may apply for HEAP in person at the local social services office in the county in which you reside. After your application is submitted by mail, fax or scanned copy, the local district will review the application, will conduct an interview by phone or in person, and determine your household’s eligibility for HEAP.

By Telephone

Applicants that have applied and been found eligible for a Regular benefit in the2010-2011 HEAP season may apply for a heat or heat-related Emergency benefit over the telephone. Temporary Assistance and Food Stamp recipients may apply for a heat or heat-related Emergency benefit over the telephone by contacting their case worker or the local social services office in the county of residence.


You may apply for HEAP online if your household resides in one of the following counties: Allegany, Broome, Chenango, Clinton, Greene, Herkimer, Jefferson, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Warren, Washington or Westchester and you received a HEAP benefit during the previous HEAP season, and continue to reside in the same county.

The documentation that you must provide in your application are:

  • A valid Social Security number for each household member.
  • A current fuel and/or utility bill or receipt which document a direct vendor relationship for energy based upon actual usage billing or;
  • A statement from your landlord that your heat and/or utilities are included in your rent.
  • Proof of income for the previous four weeks.
  • Unemployment insurance benefits book.
  • Bank book, interest or dividend statements.
  • Copies of Social Security or pension checks or direct deposit statements.
  • Business statements for the previous three months if you are self employed.
  • You may also need to bring one of the following for each person in your household.
  • Birth or marriage certificates.
  • School or baptismal records.
  • Social Security Cards.
  • Driver’s license.

If you have an emergency, contact your local HEAP emergency number for assistance.