Local & Regional
Mon July 8, 2013
DHS to Help Low-Income Households Beat the Heat
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services will be accepting applications for summer cooling assistance starting tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9. The program called LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is designed to help low-income households pay for cooling bills.
The funds are available to help relieve the stress of the summer heat. DHS spokesman, Mark Beutler, says to submit your application soon because the money usually runs out very quickly.
“A couple of years ago, when the temperatures were very extreme, the funds were depleted within four days,” Beutler says. “So we have 16 million dollars to allocate this year; that will go very quickly. So the sooner you can get your applications in, the better.”
He says the funds will be distributed until they are depleted.
“Based on your allowable monthly net income, the eligibility guidelines will determine if you’re eligible or not,” Beutler says.” Folks who have typically in the past received DHS assistance, they are usually pre-qualified, but it’s still a good idea to check it out and talk to your local DHS county office.”
He says that they expect a benefit of $120 for a one-person household and $180 for a two-person household. Eligibility is based on the household’s income and assets. Those with inadequate funds to afford cooling, or those who are at risk for heat-related issues, are encouraged to submit an application.
Applications can be found and submitted at a local DHS office.