New York State In-depth

A Suffolk woman waits as the county experiences a “slight delay” in HEAP applications

Jan 19, 2023 3:49 amUpdated 8h ago

From: News 12 employees

A Suffolk County woman searches for answers on how to keep her home warm in the coming cold temperatures.

Lisa Lewin says she kept rushing to Suffolk County for months to find out when her application for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) would be processed.

“It’s the dead of winter and heating bills are high, and you know I would really appreciate any financial help I could get,” says Lewin.

A county spokesman says the massive cyberattack uncovered in September is affecting the status of HEAP applications.

A Suffolk County statement said: “The Department of Social Services has encountered a slight delay in processing applications but is working diligently to process all applications.”

Lewin says she was told there was a three-month backlog of HEAP applications because of the cyberattack, and is frustrated because she says she’s not getting any responses.

She says she can’t afford any delays when it comes to getting the financial help she needs to heat her house.

“You have to heat in the winter,” says Lewin. “Otherwise your pipes will freeze, so it’s a no-choice situation.”

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