Owing to Covid-19 difficulties and mounds of recent snow, it has been a long, cold winter — and it's not over. Long Islanders in need of help paying for home heating costs this winter have a few places to turn.
The Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, is a federal program that assists people facing emergencies. With an application deadline of March 15, information can be found online at mybenefits.ny.gov.
The United Way of Long Island, a local branch of a national nonprofit organization, operates Project Warmth, which provides one-time grants for heating oil and electric heat costs. Its application deadline is Feb. 26, and it is accessible by calling 211 or going online to unitedwayli.org/
PSEG Long Island offers payment plans, but it also has a need-based emergency effort, the Household Assistance Program, for those who qualify for other state and federal benefits. It comes in the form of a credit on a customer's monthly utility bill. Enrollment is ongoing for the program, which is for 18 months at a time. More information is at psegliny.com/myaccount/
"We recognize that the effects of Covid-19 are ongoing and that the financial difficulty for many of our neighbors continues into the second year of this public health crisis," Rick Walden, PSEG's vice president of customer operations, said in a press release. "During these stressful times, we want to assure our customers that assistance is available to help them face unexpected challenges."