Application period for HEAP assistance starts Monday

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Fortunately, the really frigid weather looks like it is going to be short-lived, so a couple of extra blankets should suffice for later this week, but you need to start getting ready now for heating your home this winter.

While the application period for HEAP assistance starts Monday, there are other things western New Yorkers can do now, to get ready for those upcoming frigid days of winter.

The Erie County Department of Social Services has a Heating Equipment and Replacement benefit to help homeowners repair or replace their deficient furnaces.

Wonder if you qualify for HEAP assitance?

A family of four can have a household income of more than $53,000 a year, and still qualify for benefits.

Beginning Monday, you can apply for HEAP benefits, and schedule an interview.

Karen Rybicki, with the Erie County Department of Social Services, said “That interview could either be done in person or over the phone, and then there is just some income eligibility information they would need to verify. So we are going to need to know who lives in the household. We are going to need to have a utility bill that the person is responsible for, proof of household income, and then we also look at whether or not there are any vulnerable individuals that are in that household. So that would be children under the age of six, folks that are 60 years of age or older, or those that would be disabled.”

Gas or electric customers who have shutoff notices can contact Social Services now, for help keeping your heat on.

For more information on heating assistance guidelines, you can call the HEAP Hotline at 858-7644 or click/tap here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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