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Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

Guidelines 1996-1997

Please ensure that seniors have a full understanding of the following guidelines. The importance of the Personal Privacy Law Notification on the back of the application and the Important Notice statement on the front should be stressed when assisting seniors with the completion of the HEAP application. Completed applications may be mailed directly to the Department for the Aging.


All Department for the Aging (DFTA) applicants who were approved for a 1995-96 HEAP grant will automatically receive a pre-printed 1996-97 HEAP application in the mail. This computer-generated application will contain specific applicant information. Please encourage persons receiving this type of application in the mail to use this document when applying for HEAP. If an applicant has not received the application by mid-January, please provide one.

You should be aware that in prior years the Program has closed as early as March 12th. HEAP is a federally funded program and once available funds are used up, no benefits will be issued, and the Program will close. It is strongly recommended that your applicants complete and return the application as soon as possible.


A DFTA application may be completed if one is either:

  • 60 years of age or older,
  • Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI Code-A) and lives alone or with a spouse only,
  • The head of household receiving Social Security Disability Benefits.
  • Individuals in non-DFTA HEAP categories should be instructed to call the HRA InfoLine: (718) 291-1900, for application information.

Income Guidelines

New Income Guidelines are as follows:

Household Size: 1 2 3 4 5
Monthly Income:
$968 $1,295 $1,623 $1,950 $2,278

There are certain income deductions and exclusions that can affect an applicant's income eligibility. Deductions may be made for applicants who pay for certified home health care services provided by someone other than a family member (documentation needed). Persons who receive rental income must, with the proper documentation, apply in person at DFTA's Information & Referral Unit located at 2 Lafayette Street, 6th Floor.

Benefit Grant Amounts

The amount of a regular non-heating grant is based on household size and household income. Benefits to heater households will take into account several criteria based on a Point System. Households that pay for heat, and renters who pay for utilities will receive a line of credit with their vendor (energy suppliers). If utilities costs are included in the rent, the applicant will receive a direct payment. Only one grant per household is permitted.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Code-A Recipients

SSI Code-A recipients enrolled in the program as of October 30, l996 are categorically eligible for HEAP and will automatically receive the HEAP grant from the Community Development Agency (CDA).

Persons who become eligible for the SSI Code A Program after October 30, 1996 should complete a DFTA application.

SSI Code-A recipients who receive an automatic grant and pay for heat directly should apply for a Supplemental grant through the Department for the Aging, in addition to the HEAP check they receive in the mail. Supplemental grant amounts will vary according to a point system.

Public Assistance Recipients

An automatic benefit will be issued to PA households ONLY if they are on the public assistance rolls as of December 30, 1996 AND the Household contains a vulnerable member. Otherwise a CDA application must be completed.

Non-Public Assistance (NPA) Food Stamp Recipients

An automatic benefit will be issued to NPA food stamps households only if they are on the rolls as of December 30, 1996 AND the household contains a vulnerable member. Otherwise a CDA application must be completed .

Note: A vulnerable household is defined as a household containing elderly person(s) age 60 or older, or disabled individual(s) or a child or children under 6 years of age.

Emergency Assistance Base Benefit-Only Heat-Related

The following HEAP emergency benefit types are available to resolve the heat-related emergency needs of HEAP eligible households:

  1. Utility Emergency. (Heat or Heat-Related Only)
    • Heat related domestic only - $100
    • Natural gas heat - $235
    • Electric heat - $485 ($385 heat plus $100 for heat related domestic)
    Each benefit is available once per program year and buys a minimum of thirty (30) days of prospective service. A full benefit or the total balance due, which ever is less, is issued.
  2. Non-Utility Heating Emergencies (Fuel) A one time benefit of $270 is authorized.

Emergency Assistance, Non-Heat Related

HEAP does not have emergency assistance available for non-heat related (utilities) emergencies. Seniors can seek assistance from their local Income Maintenance (IM) center.

For information regarding locations of CDA offices and IM centers contact the HRA InfoLine at (718) 291-1900.


For Department for the Aging HEAP applications and assistance, please call (212) 442-1000.

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