ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Virginia Department of Social Services will again provide qualifying households with cooling assistance during the summer months. Applications are currently being accepted and can be submitted until Monday, August 16.
In order 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 $1,610 and $3,313 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
(Note: Households that were approved to receive assistance for payment of electric bills to operate cooling equipment in 2021 received a one-time benefit of $400 and will not need to submit additional applications for payment of electric bill or submit copies of their electric bill during the remainder of the 2021 cooling assistance application period.)
Individuals and families who have a need for cooling assistance, but are unsure of their eligibility status, are encouraged to submit an application. Local departments of social services determine eligibility based on submitted applications. Families and individuals may submit an application online via CommonHelp, by calling the Enterprise Customer Service Center at 1-855-635-4370, or through their local department of social services. The application period will end August 16.
Last year, the Energy Assistance Program provided over 67,000 households with cooling assistance. The Energy Assistance Program is federally funded by the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program block grant. To learn more about the program, including other types of assistance, visit https://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/index.cgi.