The Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services will continue to accept applications for Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, through Aug. 31.

The program was previously scheduled to close on April 30.

This extension means that the program will run alongside another critical component of the HEAP program, the Cooling Assistance Component (CAC), which will begin accepting applications on May 3, 2021. Benefits are provided on a first come first serve basis.

Households may be eligible for the CAC benefit if they have not received a HEAP funded air conditioner in the past 5 years. To be eligible for a CAC benefit the applicant or somebody in the household must have a documented medical condition that is exacerbated by extreme heat.

With the release of additional funding for New York State to operate the HEAP program, beginning immediately, a third emergency benefit will be authorized for those HEAP eligible households that can document that a heating/utility emergency exists. That includes a utility shut-off notice or their utility service is already off, there is less than 25% fuel left in oil/propane/kerosene tanks, or there is less than a 10 day supply of wood/wood pellets/coal.

Under the directive from the state, the Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services will continue to accept applications postmarked or submitted electronically at www.myBenefits.ny.gov, until the close of business on Aug. 31.

Applications will also continue to be accepted by the Department of Aging for those individuals over 60 years of age. For more information about applying for HEAP through the Department of Aging, call (716) 701-8032 or 1-800-462-2901.

It is not necessary to come into the office to receive these benefits. There are contactless options for applying, interviewing and submitting necessary documentation.

For additional information regarding the HEAP program please contact the Department of Social Services at the numbers listed below, or visit us at the Heating and Energy Assistance page of the Cattaraugus County website, and can be found at https://www.cattco.org/social-services/HEAP.

To have an application mailed to you, ask general questions, or to report an emergency, please call (716) 701-3774. Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If calling after hours, leave a message and somebody will get back to you on the next business day.

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