Summer is just beginning, and so are record breaking temperatures. For many, staying cool from the sweltering heat is a necessary health and safety precaution. Petersburg's Department of Social Services is accepting Cooling Assistance applications now through August 17, as part of the Virginia Department of Social Services' (VDSS) Energy Assistance Program.
Cooling Assistance is available to households with a child under 6-years-old, a person with a disability, or an adult age 60 or older living in the home who meet the program’s income and eligibility requirements. To qualify for Cooling Assistance this year, the maximum gross monthly income (before taxes) for a one-person household is $1,276 and $2,628 for a household of four.
Apply online at commonhelp.virginia.gov, pick up an application from the Petersburg Department of Social Services (400 Farmer Street) or call (804) 861-4720.
Cooling Assistance may help cover one or more of the following expenses:
Electric bills to operate cooling equipment
A once-in-a-lifetime payment of an electric utility security deposit
Repairs to a central air conditioning system or heat pump
Purchase or replacement and installation of an air conditioner
To qualify for assistance, you must be a resident who is responsible for cooling expenses with a monthly gross income that meets eligibility guidelines. For example, gross income must be at or below $1,276 for a single-person household and may not exceed $2,628 for a family of four. Households must include one child under age six, a disabled individual, or a vulnerable adult who is age 60 or over.
Those deemed eligible may qualify for more than one type of assistance. The Energy Assistance Program is funded by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program block grant; the amount Virginia receives to disburse to recipients varies from year-to-year depending on the appropriation made by Congress. Assistance is available until funds are depleted.
The Cooling Assistance component served more than 68,000 Virginia households last year. To learn more, visit http://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/cooling/index.cgi, call 2-1-1 VIRGINIA or visit www.211virginia.org.