The New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), the LIHEAP administrator, announced last week that 500,000 of New York's neediest households will receive additional help with their current energy costs.
Previously, the maximum regular LIHEAP benefit a household could receive this season was $700. Now, eligible New York households will be able to receive an additional $200 if they heat their home with a deliverable fuel such as oil, kerosene or propane, or $100 if they heat with natural gas or electricity provided by their utility company.
Most households that have already received a LIHEAP benefit this winter will not need to apply for the second regular benefit, and will receive a notice later this month informing them that their additional benefit has been sent to their fuel vendor to be credited to their account. Those households to whom OTDA is unable to authorize a payment will receive a notice at that time with instructions on how to apply. The additional assistance came through $45 million in federal LIHEAP contingency funds released to New York earlier this year by President Obama.
LIHEAP is administered through OTDA and local departments of social services, which assists eligible households in meeting their home energy needs. New Yorkers can check to see if they may be eligible for LIHEAP, and a host of other benefits, by answering a few simple questions quickly and anonymously online at www.myBenefits.ny.gov.
Through the end of April, over 1.4 million LIHEAP benefits have been issued in New York, a 13 percent increase over the same time last year. Last winter, New York issued more than 1.5 million LIHEAP benefits to low-income households, a record high.