Government is making changes to the Heating Assistance Rebate Program that will make it easier and faster for Nova Scotians to apply for and receive their rebate. The 2016-17 program will begin accepting applications on Monday, Oct. 31 and feature a new online application system and direct deposit option. Eligible applicants can receive up to a $200 rebate for heating assistance. “We know some Nova Scotians struggle with the cost of heating their homes during the cold winter months,” says Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey. “Nova Scotians expect and want more government services to be available online and with this announcement we’re doing just that.” The new online system will allow Nova Scotians to apply for the rebate online, and will allow both those who apply online and by paper form to check the status of their application online in real time. Before now, applicants had to call Service Nova Scotia to ask for an update on their application. Those registered for direct deposit with Canada Revenue Agency can also receive their rebate directly to their bank account. Paper applications will still be available at Access Nova Scotia locations, Community Services’ and MLA offices, or through more than 70 community groups and other locations across the province, and for print online. “Last year, the program helped more than 42,600 citizens and families in the province stay warm during the cold winter months,” said Mr. Furey. “It’s my hope that we reach every Nova Scotian who can benefit from this program.” Beginning in 2017, the Heating Assistance Rebate Program will move to a fixed launch date. For more information and to apply online, please visit http://www.novascotia.ca/heatinghelp .