December 11th, 2013
Orange County Announces Opening Date for HEAP
GOSHEN – Orange County Department of Social Services (DSS) is pleased to announce that the 2013 – 2014 Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will open Monday, November 18. HEAP is a federally-funded program that assists eligible households in meeting their home energy needs during the winter months.
HEAP applications may be submitted beginning Monday, November 18. DSS Commissioner David Jolly recommends that applicants use the website www.mybenefits.ny.gov as the preferred method for completing and submitting a HEAP application. Applicants may also apply over the phone by calling 291-2002, or by visiting a DSS office. Wait times may be significant for walk-ins cautions Commissioner Jolly.
HEAP is the only seasonal program operated by Orange County DSS. As a result, application volume can be very high during the first two weeks of the program opening. Residents who are in need of assistance through HEAP are encouraged to access the website www.mybenefits.ny.gov to file an application as the preferred application method.
Commissioner David Jolly said, “While DSS does accept walk-in applications, the volume associated with the program may create delays in accessing services on a walk-in basis. Orange County residents in need will access the program benefits much more efficiently through the online portal at www.mybenefits.ny.gov or by calling 291-2002. However, call volume for the first two weeks of the HEAP Program can be extremely high, so I ask applicants to please be patient and be prepared to remain on hold until a representative becomes available to assist.”
Eligibility for the program is based on the applicant’s income and housing situation. The total gross monthly income for household size must be at or below $2,175 for a family of one up to $4,182 for a family of four. A family may be eligible for financial assistance in the amount of $20 to $650 depending on the household size and monthly gross income. The statewide My Benefits website www.mybenefits.ny.gov allows residents to prescreen their families for assistance, complete an application for HEAP and other important programs allowing DSS to follow up by scheduling a telephone interview at the applicant’s convenience.
For more information, please contact the Department of Social Services at 845-291-2002. For press inquiries, please call 845-291-4311.