Press Conference To Bring Attention To Funding Available To Help Low-Income Families Pay Their Water Bills
Press Conference to Bring Awareness to Federally Funded Program that has Already Provided Millions of Dollars in Relief to Local Households, Additional Funding Still Available
Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Westchester County Executive George Latimer will be joined by local social service and nonprofit leaders for a press conference in recognition of “LIHWAP Awareness Day.” The press conference will take place on Thursday, January 12, at 2:00 PM at The Nyack Seaport (21 Burd St., Nyack, NY 10960).
The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a federally funded program administered by New York State designed to help low-income households reduce the balances on their residential water and wastewater bills. LIHWAP Awareness Day is intended to bring greater awareness of this program to families in Westchester and Rockland Counties who may be eligible for relief.
Hear from County Executives Day and Latimer and social service and nonprofit leaders about how this program has helped local families and how there’s more funding available. Proclamations will be presented at the press conference, and the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will be lit yellow – the color of hope – on January 12 in recognition of LIHWAP Awareness Day.
WHO: Rockland County Executive Ed Day
Westchester County Executive George Latimer
Joan Silvestri, Commissioner, Rockland County, Dept. of Social Services
Leonard Towns, Commissioner, Westchester County, Dept. of Social Services
Tom Gabriel, President & CEO, United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Steve Papas, President & CEO, United Way of Rockland
Additional Speakers TBA
WHEN: Thursday, January 12, 2023
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
WHERE: The Nyack Seaport
21 Burd St.
Nyack, NY 10960
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a federally funded program administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).
The program can assist households who have past due bills for water and sewer services and can help prevent water and sewer services from being shut off. LIHWAP is a benefit based on the actual amount of water and/or sewer arrears, up to a maximum of $2,500 per water or sewer provider, or $5,000 if water and sewer services are combined, per applicant household.
The OTDA has set up a secure Application Portal for households to apply for LIHWAP online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The program will expire on Dec. 31, 2023. Learn more here.
Lets Change It Back To The Tappan Zee Bridge
Harckham Bill Helping to Guarantee Health Benefits for Volunteer Firefighters Passes in Senate
The New York State Senate unanimously passed legislation this week sponsored by State Senator Pete Harckham that will help expand health benefits for volunteer firefighters. The legislation, when approved by the Assembly and enacted by the governor, will make permanent the long-standing law covering disability determinations for volunteer firefighters due to certain lung disabilities.
“Volunteer firefighters statewide often incur major diseases and ailments in the course of protecting our residents and businesses, so we must reciprocate and safeguard the health of these brave first responders whenever possible,” said Harckham. “This bill will eliminate a sunset clause for lung care while streamlining access to much deserved health benefits.”
Volunteer firefighters provide an invaluable service to New York State and our individual communities. Accordingly, it simply makes sense to prevent unnecessary worry on the part of volunteer firefighters and their families as to whether or not they will receive their benefits.
Harckham’s bill (S.1176) regarding firefighters with lung maladies will amend a 2006 law that grants important lung health care benefits, yet needs to be renewed through legislative approval and enacted every two years. Similar health benefits for full-time firefighters, though, do not need to go through the biannual approval process—even though career and volunteer firefighters are exposed to the same risks.
The risks are, indeed, significant. Lung disabilities for firefighters exceed those experienced by the average adult population in the U.S. In the line of duty, firefighters are exposed to gases, toxins and other substances that have damaging short- and long-term effects on the respiratory system. Some of the toxic gases and respiratory tract irritants that firefighters are at risk of inhaling include sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, phosgene, nitrous oxides, aldehydes and particulate matter.
The New York State Senate passed a similar bill introduced by Harckham last year, but the State Assembly did not approve the legislation. When enacted, the legislation will benefit over 80,000 volunteer firefighters and their families across New York.
“We would like to thank Senator Harckham for his hard work in getting this important piece of legislation again passed in the State Senate,” said Edward Tase, Jr., president of the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY). “New York’s volunteer firefighters are exposed to dangerous chemicals while fighting fires that may cause lasting lung damage. FASNY wholeheartedly supports this legislation, which will take this long standing benefit and make it permanent, further strengthening this critical safety net for our volunteer firefighters. We are ready to work with the Assembly and we urge them to follow suit and pass this in their house.”