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Up to $10,000 in Benefits Available Now for Eligible Households with Utility Arrears

by Lisa Pearlstein, Esq. December 20, 2021

Lisa Pearlstein is the project director for the Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

Under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a one-time Regular Arrears Supplement (RAS) benefit of up to $10,000 is now available for eligible households to help pay for gas and/or electricity arrears. The benefit will be available through September 2022 or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.

Households that received a Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefit in 2021-2022 and those in receipt of Temporary Assistance (cash) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, may be eligible to receive RAS to cover their utility arrears. Households must be found eligible for HEAP first in order to receive the RAS benefit.

If you are uncertain of HEAP eligibility or receipt and/or would like NYC’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) to determine your eligibility for RAS, click here to complete the HEAP application and mail it to:

Home Energy Assistance Program/HEAP

P.O. Box 1401

Church Street Station

New York, NY 10008

If you are unable to complete and mail the HEAP form, learn how to apply for HEAP by telephone or in person here: https://access.nyc.gov/programs/home-energy-assistance-program-heap/#how-to-apply

The approval process for HEAP applications is 30-45 days after application receipt. If you have not received a response after 45 days, call HRA at 212-331-3126. Tell the HRA representative you want to:

  • Check the status of your HEAP application;  and
  • Complete a RAS Worksheet. This must be done on the phone with an HRA representative.

For more information, go to:  https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/

This communication is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. Because all legal problems involve their own specific set of facts, this informational resource is not and should not be used as a substitute for independent legal advice. This informational resource also is not intended to create, and its receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Please contact competent, independent legal counsel for an assessment of your particular legal concerns, or contact our Legal Hotline (212.626.7383 or https://www.citybarjusticecenter.org/legal-hotline/) to determine whether you qualify for assistance from the City Bar Justice Center.

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