ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) — Starting November 1, applications for home heating assistance will be accepted throughout the entire state of New York. 

 Eligible applicants can receive up to $976 in assistance.

Julia Acosta has a family of four and has seen how stressful wintertime bills can get. 

“We’ve done passive solar on the southside of the house, so it never has any interruption. we do everything we can to limit our energy usage and how much we are pulling from RG&E and it never really seems to abate,” she said.

Despite all the failed efforts at saving, she says she’s still going to give this program a try.

“My wife and I have applied for everything so that you’ve told me that heap is going to be something we can look into, of course,” she said.

Applications are available now until March or until funding runs out.

RG&E Spokesperson Alexis Arnold says there are other incentives to apply.

“Many people might not realize if you are eligible for HEAP you are automatically enrolled in our energy assistance program also known as EAP and that offers bill credits and arrears forgiveness,” said Arnold.

Financial Assistance Coordinator at Monroe County DHS, Deborah Hill, says some residents may not need to apply.

“If you were active on temporary assistance the weekend of September 9th of 2023 or if you were active SNAP benefits the weekend of September 16th, 2023, you don’t need to do an application. NYS does an autorun where they automatically give HEAP benefits to active temporary assistance and SNAP individuals,” said Hill.

Hill says you can be a homeowner or rent, but the best way to find out if you are eligible is to apply.

To apply you can go to MyBenefits.NY.Gov or contact your local social services to apply.

The program is overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and is federally funded.