Requests for heating help surge across Long Island

More than 40 applicants for Suffolk?s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) waited in the cold and rain Thursday morning hoping to get vouchers to pay for their heating bills. Just 20 vouchers were handed

News 12 Staff

Nov 14, 2008, 12:42 AM

Updated 5,721 days ago

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More than 40 applicants for Suffolk?s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) waited in the cold and rain Thursday morning hoping to get vouchers to pay for their heating bills.
Just 20 vouchers were handed out Thursday at the Riverhead location. Welfare officials on Long Island report a big increase in the number of requests for home heating oil assistance. They say it?s due to the unusually cool temperatures and the high cost of heating oil. In Nassau, officials say HEAP requests are up by 30 percent.
"The program has only been operating for six days, and already our HEAP application rates are well above what they were last year, probably 50 percent,? says Greg Blass, chief deputy commissioner of Suffolk?s Department of Social Services.
Blass says applicants who don?t provide all the proper documentation on their first try might be turned away.
Single applicants must make less than $1,963 a month in order to qualify for HEAP. For a family of four, the household income must not exceed $3,776 monthly. Heating payment assistance is also available for middle-income individuals.
Click for more about HEAP qualifications
Home Heat Online Application Suffolk County GovernmentFor Nassau residents - 516-227-7386For Suffolk residents - 631-853-8825


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