Many people in New York State have been hit hard by the economy over the years. Because of this, and other factors, the Empire State has put in place several programs that can assist lower-income individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet.

From Unemployment Assistance to Medicaid and SNAP, New York does a lot to help people stay afloat when times get rough.

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One of those programs, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) exists to help eligible people prevent their homes from suffering the effects of extreme temperatures during the year. HEAP can help people and families heat their homes in the winter when bitterly cold temperatures arrive in the northeast and cool their homes when the dog days of summer drag on.

The assistance program specifically can help state residents pay the costs of the services necessary to keep their homes heated and/or cooled. This can include, paying for Electricity, Natural Gas, Heating Oil, Coal, Propane, Wood/Wood Pellets, Kerosene, and more.

HEAP can also help cover the cost of the equipment needed for this as well. These things can include Air Conditioners, furnaces, and the fees for contractors to help repair or replace equipment.

Like with many things in New York, one of the downsides of us having a lot of different public benefits is that this program can be expensive for taxpayers to maintain. But, exactly how much does it cost New York to run and manage the HEAP program, and who is using the most benefits?

HEAP Usage By County In New York

Monthly, the New York State government makes all sorts of data available on the Open NY Data website, as of the end of its 2021-22 fiscal year, the following information was available about the HEAP program:

  • There were 1,751,264 individual HEAP Benefit Payments made to New Yorkers during the year,
  • $586,139,855 was spent on HEAP Benefits benefits for those payments made for New Yorkers,
  • and another $30,231,050 was spent to manage the program across New York's 62 counties.

The HEAP Fiscal Year runs from October 1st of the year through September 30th of the next year.

These Counties Have The Most HEAP Recipients Per Capita In New York

HEAP usage across the state has increased in the last few years.

These Counties Have The Most HEAP Recipients In New York

HEAP usage across the state has increased in the last few years. 

Buffalo Blizzard of 2022

Various Photos from around Buffalo and Western New York during and after Winter Storm Elliott brought a cyclone bomb to the area.

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