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Seniors struggle to pay heat bills

QUEENSBURY -- Despite government assistance, some New Yorkers are still struggling to keep their homes warm with this winters cold temperatures and high heating costs.

Last year, Carolyn Perkins began receiving money from the Home Energy Assistance Program after having surgery. This year, the money ran out before the winter ended and she turned to electric heaters that keep the house around 60 degrees.

We had to buy them to use this winter and it did raise the dickens with our electric bill, said Perkins.

Perkins has also started going the areas food pantry since most money is going toward heat bills or electricity.

That helps because the cost of living, meat. The prices they scare you. You can't afford it. You just can't, said Perkins. I feel like Im a beggar and I shouldn't feel that way we worked all our lives and we paid taxes all of our lives and now we need it It's hard to get it.

HEAP is paid for by the federal government is managed by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in New York. Recipients receive help annually and can also apply for emergency assistance if needed.

Perkins said she is working to get emergency aid to help get her through the winter.

HEAP also received $50 million earlier this month in additional funding from the federal government to take on additional families struggling with high heating bills.