Keep Warm This Winter

Keep Warm This Winter

As the days darken and temperatures begin to dip, I want to make every Rockland family aware of the help and resources that are available through our Department of Social Services (DSS). Families with low incomes can apply for grants to help pay for their heating bills under New York State’s Home Energy Assistance Program or HEAP, for short.
We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a broad impact locally and are encouraging residents to submit their applications now. Funding for this program is limited and we expect to see more people applying in January when the New York moratorium on residential evictions is lifted.
To date, 389 applications have been received here in Rockland, a 4.5% increase over last year. We want to make sure that residents who may be struggling to pay their heating bills get the help they need. Rockland residents deserve their fair share of the NYS funding.
The amount of the grant depends on income and family size and payments are made directly to the utility company. To be eligible, single persons living alone must have a monthly gross income no higher than $2,610. Monthly income limits for larger households are as follows:
Number of
People
Monthly Income Limit
2
$3,413
3
$4,216
4
$5,019
5
$5,822
6
$6,625
7
$6,775
8
$6,926
9
$7,077
10
$7,227
11
$7,378
12
$7,755
Greater than 12
Income limit is increased by $560 for each additional person
Our Department of Social Services has already mailed out applications to households which received this funding last year, but we know that more Rockland families are facing dire financial conditions due to the pandemic. Now is your chance to apply before program funds are exhausted.
New and returning HEAP applicants can apply online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov or by mail. New HEAP applicants will be called for a phone interview. In person interviews are not required, so we are not accepting in person appointments at this time. Please call the DSS HEAP Department at 364-3480 or 364-3212, Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM if you want a paper application or if you have any questions.
The following organizations can also assist clients in completing a HEAP application:
Rockland County Office for the Aging     845-364-2100
Community Improvement Council (Spring Valley)     845-354-4100
Community Outreach Center (Monsey)     845-356-9600
WestCOP (Haverstraw)     845-728-0688
Emergency funds are also available to households that cannot pay their bill and who have received a Termination Notice from their utility provider. The emergency benefit ranges from a $140 heat related benefit to a maximum of $675 per household for heating with oil, kerosene, propane and $490 for gas and electric. Applications for Emergency HEAP will be accepted from January 2, 2020, through March 16, 2020, or until program funds are exhausted.
Households heating with oil, kerosene, or propane should contact the HEAP department if they have ¼ of a tank or less of fuel so they can apply for an emergency benefit. Residents who receive a Termination Notice should fax the notice to the HEAP Unit at 845-364-3130 or can email a copy of the notice to RocklandHEAP@dfa.state.ny.us
Many people are facing unexpected and difficult conditions this year but our Department of Social Services is here to help, I urge you to reach out for a helping hand if you need it.

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