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Strained household budgets create skyrocketing demand for heating aid

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As every driver has noticed, prices at the pump have been falling for more than three months now. The cost of heating oil is also coming down. But across the Northeast, it's too little and too late to help many residents pay their home heating bills. It's not just a stretch for household budgets. As people look to the government for help, anxiety over the economy and volatile fuel markets is also straining local social service departments. Last Monday, New Yorkers began applying for federal funds from HEAP, the Home Energy Assistance Program. It's the counties, though, that process the paperwork, verify each applicant's eligibility and distribute the money. As Jonathan Brown reports, the number of people seeking help is up dramatically.

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