National Fuel encouraging customers who have fallen behind on their utility bills to apply for assistance through the state

(WIVB) – National Fuel customers who are past due on their utility bills can now apply for assistance for up to 12 months of overdue gas bill payments through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). 

The ERAP is mostly funded by the most recent federal stimulus package and will provide the money directly to landlords and utility companies on behalf of the renter. 

Erie County Rental Assistance portal is now open

New York State has $2.7 billion in funding available through the ERAP for income-eligible renters who fell behind on their rent or utility payments during the pandemic. 

Eligible customers can also apply for up to 12 months in back rent and up to three months of future rent payments. 

To qualify, customers must meet these criteria: 

1. Household gross income has to be at or below 80 percent of the area median income, which varies by county and household size. You can use either your current monthly income or your 2020 annual income to apply. 

2. Someone in the household must have received unemployment benefits or experienced some sort of reduction in income or another financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic on or after March 13, 2020.

 3. A renter has an overdue rent balance at their residence for payments that were owed on or after March 13, 2020.

For more information, click here or call  1-844-NY1-RENT (1-844- 691-7368) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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