It is that time of year when many of us are thinking ahead to the winter season and that means among other things, prepare our homes for the cold weather that we can expect. The Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP) launched October 15, offers rebates that range from $100 to $200. This helps low income Nova Scotians with the cost of heating their homes. Each winter the program helps thousands of Nova Scotians manage their heating costs. The online application process is easy, fast and convenient and it has helped people get their rebate sooner.

The HARP program is available to Nova Scotians who buy energy to heat their homes with oil, electricity, natural gas, wood, wood pellets, coal, or other heating source. To qualify for the rebate, the income threshold for one-person households is $29 000 and $44 000 for households with more than one person. More than 42 000 people received rebates in 2017.

 

To apply you must pay for your own heat and meet ONE of the following criteria:

  • Have a net income of $29 000 or less and live alone with no kids or dependents

  • Have a combined net income of $44 000 or less and live with kids, dependents, or other adults

  • Receive Income Assistance from the Department of Community Services

  • Receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or the Allowance from Service Canada

It should take 8 weeks to get your rebate. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your application has not been filled in correctly. You will be contacted if additional information is required to process your rebate. There is no cost to apply for the rebate.

Make sure you have:

  • a heating bill or receipt for oil, electricity, natural gas, wood, wood pellets, coal or other heating source dated between 01 January 2018 and 31 March 2019

  • signatures for all adults in the application

  • social insurance numbers and dates of birth of all adults in your home

  • 2017 Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment for you and any other adults in your home

  • Proof of change in marital status

  • Landlord Declaration Form if you rent and pay for your own heat

  • Firewood Declaration Form if you harvest your own firewood to heat your home

  • Wood Invoice Form if you use wood to heat your home but do not have a receipt

  • Canada Child Benefit Form

  • Citizenship application

  • GST/HST payment information form

HARP is an initiative that takes financial burden off everyday people. Many Nova Scotians have applied for the rebate in previous years and they are always relieved that at least part of their heating expense will be covered by the rebate.

Applicants can check the status of their application using an online status checker. People can also register with Canada Revenue Agency for direct deposit into their bank accounts. The program closes March 31, 2019.

For those who do not wish to use the online process, paper application forms can be picked up from Access Nova Scotia Centres, Community Services offices, at more than 70 community groups across the province, or at my office in Masstown (10653 Hwy. 2 or phone Bonnie at 902-641-2200). For more information and to apply online, visit www.novascotia.ca/heatinghelp.

Karen Casey, MLA

Colchester North