Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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SNAP - Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

02/27/12

HEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low income people to pay the cost of heating their homes. The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) applies for, and receives, Low Income HEAP funding.  OTDA administers HEAP through the local Social Services districts found in each county of the State.  Each district conducts eligibility determinations for HEAP applications in accordance with federal laws, NYS regulations and policy documents.  Program dates for the HEAP benefit are based on funding availability.

Information regarding HEAP can be found under Programs and Services at www.otda.ny.gov.

Eligible households that reside in government subsidized housing or a group home setting with heat included in their rent can receive a one-time HEAP benefit; therefore, individuals living in an OPWDD Congregate Care Level 1 (Family Care) or Level 2 (Community Residence (CR) /Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA) residence are eligible to apply for HEAP.

Section 4006 of the 2014 Farm bill ended the use of “anticipated receipt” as a basis for eligibility for the Heating/Cooling Standard Utility Allowance (HCSUA).  Therefore, SNAP households that do not incur a separate cost or bill for heating or air conditioning expenses must have received HEAP, or other similar energy assistance benefits of greater than $20, in either the current month or twelve months immediately preceding the current month to have the HCSUA used in the determination of the household’s SNAP eligibility and monthly benefit amount.

Individuals living in OPWDD Congregate Care Level 1 and 2 homes who do not already receive a HEAP benefit will need to apply for HEAP benefits during the open heating season to be eligible for the HCSUA.  The application for HEAP benefits (LDSS 3421) can be found at www.otda.ny.gov  during the open heating season only.

If eligible for HEAP, individuals residing in OPWDD certified homes (Family Care (FC) and Community Residence (CRs) / Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs) may receive a one-time $21 HEAP benefit per program year.  This cash benefit is usually issued to the individual by the local Department of Social Services (LDSS) between November and January and will eventually be expunged if not used within 90 days from the date it was issued by the LDSS.  Agencies that act as Authorized Representatives must make sure that this $21 HEAP benefit goes to the individual (not the agency).  Agencies should document their records accordingly.