NORWICH As colder weather looms, thousands of Chenango County residents this year will turn to the Chenango County Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to keep warm.
More than 8,000 regular and emergency HEAP benefits were authorized last year to households across the county. With another HEAP season already off to a frigid start, thousands more are expected to seek assistance in the coming months, say HEAP organizers.
The program results in a very busy time for Chenango County Social Services, said Chenango Department of Social Services Deputy Commissioner Daniel Auwarter, noting that the HEAP program this year will open Nov. 18 and continue through Feb. 1, 2014. There are no requirements for an in-person interview to determine eligibility and interviews can be done via face-to-face or telephone meetings.
Each year, Chenango DSS administers the federally funded HEAP program for income-eligible households. HEAP provides financial assistance to subsidize heating costs and heating equipment repair or replacement. Federally mandated outreach and alternative certification services are provided through collaboration with the Chenango County Area Agency on Aging and Opportunities for Chenango.