With temperatures climbing in the 90s and a heat index even higher on some days, that's a lot more heat than we are used to. We even beat some parts of Florida for high temperatures on certain days so far this summer.

If you live and/or work in an air-conditioned environment, that is a good thing. But not everyone can afford to keep cool. Did you know that New York State's Home Energy Assistance Program might be able to help those without an air-conditioner or fan in their home?

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According to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website, you may be eligible through the Cooling Assistance Benefit.

Eligible households could receive one Cooling Assistance benefit per applicant household for the purchase and installation of an air conditioner or a fan, not to exceed $800 for a window, portable air conditioner, or fan and not to exceed $1,000 for an existing wall sleeve unit.

To be eligible, the New York State Home Energy Assistance Program requirements are as follows:

  • Your household's gross monthly income is at or below the current income guidelines for your household size as posted in the following table, or
  • You receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or
  • You receive Temporary Assistance (TA), or
  • You receive Code A Supplemental Security Income (SSI Living Alone), or
  • You received a Regular benefit greater than $21 in the current program year or received a Regular benefit equal to $21 during the current program year and reside in government-subsidized housing with heat included in your rent, and
  • Your household contains at least one individual with a documented medical condition that is exacerbated by extreme heat, or
  • Your household contains a vulnerable member based on their age (elderly age 60 years or older, or young children under age 6) which meets all other component eligibility criteria, and
  • A member of your household is a United States Citizen or Qualified Non-Citizen, and
  • You currently do not have a working air conditioner or the air conditioner you have is five years old or older, and
  • You did not receive a HEAP-funded air conditioner within the past five years.

The window to apply began in April and ends on August 31, 2024. For more information and to apply, call or apply in person, your HEAP Local District Contact.

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