Assistance program available to residents

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Water Assistance Program helps those facing disconnect

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS) and is funded by the Administration of Children and Families.

The program will provide up to $750 for water and wastewater (sewer) disconnection fees, customers who are in threat of disconnection, arrearages (past due bills) and reconnection fees. LIHWAP began in Missouri on Oct. 1 for elderly and disabled households, and begins on Nov. 1 for other households.

How the program works:

• DSS and contracted agencies will notify potentially eligible clients about the availability of the LIHWAP program.

• The client will apply for benefits through DSS contracted agencies.

• DSS will send a letter to clients stating they are or are not eligible for the program.

• If the client is eligible, DSS will send a Customer Eligibility Listing (CEL) to the utility company to make a pledge on the clients account.

• If the utility company agrees to accept payment (pledge), DSS will send the payment electronically or with a paper check.

• Applications will be processed in the order they are received. The program will continue until the funding is spent, or through Sept. 30, 2023.

For clients to be eligible, they must:

• Be responsible for paying the water and/or wastewater (sewer) bill

• Be a United States citizen (or have been legally admitted for permanent residence)

• Have $3,000 or less in bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments

• Meet specific income guidelines based on household size

Client’s Income Guidelines Requirements

Household must be under the below monthly income amounts to receive the benefit:

1 — $0 - $2,211

2 — $0 - $2,891

3 — $0 - $3,571

4 — $0 - $4,252

5 — $0 - $4,932

6 — $0 - $5,612

7 — $0 - $5,740

The agency contact for Barry County is: Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation, 417-864-3460.

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