Individuals who live in New York and who receive their natural gas service from National Fuel have several different assistance programs and payment plans available to them. Resources offered range from government aid to emergency financial assistance that may be paid out directly by the energy provider. Find more information below on the primary resources offered for National Fuel customers.
National Fuel's Low Income Customer Affordability Assistance Program in New York is known as LICAAP. There are several parts to this service. This financial assistance program offers qualified customers reduced rates, consistent monthly amounts on their natural gas bills, and may even waive or reduce past debts on your account. Call 1-800-365-3234 for details and program terms.
The New York State Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is the main federal government program for National Fuel low income customers, seniors, and the disabled. Other goal is to assist homes or apartments with young children residing in them. This will provide ongoing assistance with paying gas and heating bills, and a component of HEAP can help prevent the disconnection of a customers account in an emergency.
All cash paid out by this program is limited and may change from year to year based on federal government funding. In some years up to $450 may be paid out to National Fuel customers; however a number of factors are taken into consideration when determining the amount of your payment.
You can apply by mail or in person by visiting your local community action agency or social service office. If you have had your gas shut off, then you do need to apply in person.
The application process for New York families who receive Food Stamps or Temporary Assistance has been streamlined. National Fuel and/or the state of New York will pro-actively notify you when the enrollment period begins. If there are questions on this, then call the company at the number below.
In order to apply for HEAP, a formal application process is in place. Customers will need to provide proof of their income, documentation of each household member’s identity, social security numbers, proof of residence, and a copy of your gas and utility bills. Other support and items may be needed as well, and program terms may change. In some cases a telephone interview may be performed by your local community action agency.
National Fuel customers can apply for crisis grants or emergency benefits. This is offered by New York and the federal government for individuals who have a shut off notice on their account. In general a few hundred dollars may be paid out in short order. The money is used for paying heating and natural gas bills from this resource.
Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund is available for low income National Fuel customers who live in Western New York. It is a grant program that pays out financial aid on a first come, first serve basis, and all disbursements need to be used for paying gas and energy bills. All applicants need to be either one of the following.
In addition, applicants need to have been paying their National Fuel bill prior to the above hardship. They need to have made at least four recent payments on their account. Proof will be required as part of the application process, including statements on income and expenses. Money is prioritized for people who are faced with a disconnection of their utilities.
National Fuel Gas Company, its employees and customers all contribute to the Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund. So it is paid for by donations from the families across western New York State. On average, tens of thousands of dollars in aid is paid out to the needy every year. Call the Salvation Army at 716-883-9800 to apply, or dial Catholic Charities at 716-856-4494.
The Budget Plan is offered by most energy providers, including National Fuel. It will provide customers with a fixed amount due on their gas bill every month, which will make planning and budgeting easier for every family. The amount billed to each household will be based on your average usage for the last 12 months.
Payment Agreements are offered by National Fuel for a limited number of New York customers. From time to time customers are faced with a hardship that was not created by them, and the utility company understands that some people may be having difficulty in making payments on their account from time to time. Call one of the Customer Assistance Centers at 1-800-365-3234 in order to look into a deferred payment arrangement or program for your account.
Assistance for the unemployed is offered. This is in addition to any other program listed here. Western New York state has been hit hard by the weak economy, so National Fuel representatives offer advice on financial assistance programs and energy conservation resources (such as weatherization) which can help those who are currently unemployed or expecting an imminent job layoff.
Part of the communication process will include referrals. They can direct customers to non-profits, community services, and government programs such as HEAP which may be able to help you with paying your natural gas bills. Customer service representatives can direct you to social service agencies and other organizations, who will then determine if you're eligible for various public aid programs.
Special Needs and assistance may be provided for elderly, retired, permanently disabled, hearing- and speech-impaired, non-English and Spanish speaking customers, and the visually impaired.
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