HEAP Accepting Applications

November 17, 2011 Updated Nov 17, 2011 at 8:34 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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HEAP Accepting Applications

November 17, 2011 Updated Nov 17, 2011 at 8:34 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW-TV) - Erie County residents could begin applying for the Home Energy Assistance Program Wednesday. HEAP is a federally funded program designed to help families with the costs of heating their homes.

Recent budget cuts made less money available for New York State. Last year $495 million was made available, but this year only $250 million, nearly a 50 percent decrease.

HEAP income eligibility guidelines and benefit amounts:

Household Size: Monthly Income At or Below:
1 $2,146.00
2 $2,806.00
3 $3,466.00
4 $4,127.00
5 $4,787.00
6 $5,447.00
7 $5,571.00
8 $5,695.00

A rally held in downtown Buffalo Wednesday morning focused on the elimination of the millionaires tax. Protesters say eliminating the millionaires tax would provide roughly a $5 billion tax cut to the wealthy while seeing necessary services be cut.

A petition with nearly four thousand signatures showing support for the millionaires tax will be presented to the governor's office Thursday in Albany.