The federal government has released an additional $195.5 million for New York State to help elderly and low-income people pay for their heating bills, the Department of Health and Human Services announced this week. The funds bring the total designated for the state to $473 million.
Since Oct. 1, Congress has appropriated $3.9 billion nationally for heating assistance as part of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday.
Last year, 25,297 households in Nassau County and 60,527 in Suffolk County participated in the program, and a similar number are expected to seek funds this year, according to a release by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
The grants help families and elderly who struggle to make ends meet make regular energy payments as well as help them with emergency assistance. On Long Island, the county social services departments administer the program. Those seeking aid must meet income limits.
In Nassau County, call 516-227-7605 to apply for LIHEAP funds. Those with a heating emergency in the evenings and on weekends should call 516-572-3143.
In Suffolk, call 631-853-8820 for LIHEAP funds. For an after-hours heating emergency, call 631-854-9100.