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Air Conditioners Available to Low Income People with Medical Needs - 2021 Cooling Assistance Program

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Posted: 24 Jun, 2009
by Valerie Bogart (New York Legal Assistance Group)
Updated: 17 May, 2021
by Sarah Rakin (New York Legal Assistance Group)

Note: Medicaid also may sometimes pay for an air conditioner.  See article. 

HEAP-funded air conditioners are available in limited supplies to low income people in NYS who have ongoing medical conditions made worse by heat.  The 2021 HEAP cooling assistance program is available beginning May 3, 2021. The program will help with purchasing & installing the air conditioner, up to a cost of $800. Units are provided on a first come, first serve basis. 

More detailed information can be found here: https://access.nyc.gov/programs/cooling-assistance-benefit/


Applicants must meet the following eligibility standards:

  • Qualifying medical condition which is exacerbated by heat (requires doctors letter-- see template below)
  • U.S. citizen or satisfactory immigration status
  • Does not have a working air conditioner which is newer than five years
  • Received a regular HEAP benefit OR live in subsidized housing with heat included in rent
  • Receive SNAP/TA/SSI OR meet certain income requirements (listed on website)

Certain other restrictions apply.  More information can be found in local commissioner's memorandum 20-LCM-11 and attachments.




Re: 2021 Cooling Assistance Program

Name: ______________, DOB: ________, age ______ years, is a patient under my care. S/he has a medical or psychiatric condition or takes medication that increases her/his risk for heat-related illness during a heat wave.

As her/his health care provider, I strongly advise that s/he use an air conditioner at home during a heat wave to prevent serious heat-related illness and possibly death. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Signature of health care provider

Medicaid also may sometimes pay for an air conditioner.  See article. 

This article was authored by the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program of New York Legal Assistance Group.


Also read
item Asking Medicaid to Pay for an Air Conditioner

External links
http://www.wnylc.com/health/client/images/icons/article_out.svg http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/heap/documents/Cooling-contacts.pdf
http://www.wnylc.com/health/client/images/icons/article_out.svg http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/heap/cooling.asp

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