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      Home heating help money still available

      There are national news stories this Sunday, that it will be a difficult winter because the Federal government has cut back on heating subsidies for the needy, and more cuts are coming to the HEAP program.But, Onondaga County's Department of Aging and Youth Commissioner Lisa Alford says signups are underway and there is still money available to Seniors. Alford says the money won't last as long as it did last year, and it's also taking longer to process requests, so she advises enrolling now. Here's who's eligible:If you are 60 or over, or under age 60 and disabled (receiving Code A SSI), contact the Department of Aging and Youth at 421 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 435-2362. You may apply in person, or by mail if you are age 60 or over.If you are under age 60, contact the Department of Social Services at (315) 435-8295.

      Onondaga County's Aging and Youth website also has the details on income requirements for HEAP assistance, and Commissioner Alford says if you get in touch, they'll also look at other income-stretching programs for you.

      The federal money is available in all NY counties, through departments of aging, so if you're not in Onondaga County, check your government's listings, but, again, the advice is to do it quickly, while the funding's still available.