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Federal government releases additional HEAP funds

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - Updated: 10:16 AM


For the C-S-E

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the federal government has released additional low-income Home Energy Assistance Program funding, and the state has received $50.6 million.

State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, is encouraging local residents in need of assistance to sign up for the benefits either online at or through their county social services departments.

"We don't want people making choices between putting food on the table and heating their home," Santabarbara said Tuesday. "It has been cold for a long period of time -- make the call."

Santabarbara said the money is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, and people who have not signed up should do so now.

Cuomo also hopes state residents will soon take advantage of the opportunity.

"The recent extreme cold weather has taken a toll on households statewide struggling to afford their heating bill to keep their families warm," he said. "This additional funding will be essential in helping eligible New Yorkers this season, and I urge those in need of assistance to apply as soon as possible."

Fulton and Montgomery counties' Social Services departments are both still accepting applications.

Fulton County Director of Financial Assistance John Rogers said the added funding will assist those who have not applied for the program this year. If they already received their regular and emergency benefits, they cannot apply again.

"We have been very busy," Rogers said.

Rogers said local residents in need of the service can apply online, but signing up varies based on income and household size. Others may have to apply at their social services department and provide certain documentation.

Montgomery County Director of Eligibility Johanna Delcostello said the added money could benefit the community and continue to help people.

Delcostello said she heard rumors of the state issuing additional funds, but did not receive any official documentation about the release.

"We are still accepting applications for benefits, nothing has changed," she said. This year the department started accepting applications Nov. 18. They continue to accept the forms until the federal funds run out.


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