The Virginia Department of Social Services’ (VDSS) Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is currently accepting applications for cooling assistance to support qualifying households in meeting their energy needs during the summer months.
Individuals and families may submit an application online via CommonHelp, by calling the customer service center at 1-855-635-4370, or through their local department of social services by Monday, August 17.
To qualify for cooling assistance, a household must have a child less than six years of age, an individual living with a disability, or an adult age 60 or older living in the home. Eligible households must also meet income requirements for cooling assistance. This year, the maximum gross monthly income, before taxes, for a one-person household is $1,383 and $2,839 for a household of four. Types of assistance include:
- Payment of electric bills to operate cooling equipment
· Payment of security deposits for electricity to operate cooling equipment
· Repair of a central air conditioning system or heat pump
· Purchase of a whole-house fan, including ceiling or attic fans
· Purchase and installation of a window unit air conditioner
Households approved to receive assistance for payment of electric bills to operate cooling equipment will receive a one-time benefit of $300. Submissions of additional applications for payment of electric bills and copies of electric bills will not be required for the remainder of the 2020 cooling assistance application period.
Additionally, through supplemental CARES Act funding, the department also will issue a one-time supplemental payment of $100 to more than 113,000 households who received fuel or crisis assistance during the most recent heating season.
Payments will be submitted directly to vendors to credit the eligible household’s account. Eligible households can expect to receive notification by mail during the week of June 29.
The Energy Assistance Program is federally funded by the LIHEAP block grant. Last year, the program assisted over 175,000 households. To learn more, including other types of assistance, visit covid.virginia.gov to access the COVID-19 Virginia Resources app.