Millions of dollars are available to help Central New Yorkers afford to heat their homes this winter.

Governor Cuomo's office says $372 million in assistance is now available for seniors and low- and middle-income families via the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Last year, nearly 47,000 households in the Mohawk Valley received help with heating costs through the HEAP program.

According to a release, A household can receive a one-time regular HEAP benefit of up to $726 if they are eligible. Eligibility is based on income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can have a household income of up to $55,178 a year, or $4,598 a month, and still qualify for help.

Anyone living outside of New York City can apply for a regular HEAP benefit online at myBenefits.ny.gov.  Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are open beginning November 13, 2018. 

Additionally, households that have already received assistance may qualify for a one-time emergency HEAP benefit if they are at risk of getting their heat shut off or running out of fuel, which they cannot afford to resupply. Applications for emergency benefits will be accepted starting on Wednesday, January 2. Anyone in need of emergency assistance should contact their local department of social services.

These benefits are available on a first-come, first-served basis - so be sure to get your application in as quickly as possible.