Oklahomans Can Now Apply for Assistance with Water, Sewer Bills
The US Department of Health and Human Services created LIHWAP in 2021 to help those who have lost – or are at risk of losing – access to drinking water and wastewater utilities.
Oklahoma Department of Human Services Opened Its LIHWAP APPLICATION Applications or information on water assistance programs are also available in late October, and in many tribal areas.
“People are very excited for this program and feel a sense of relief from the disappointment,” said OKDHS spokeswoman Casey White.
Eligible households who apply will receive a one-time credit, which will go directly to their water or sewer utility provider to cover bills. The amount depends on household income and the LIHWAP provider. Some tribal areas may distribute assistance up to $5,070 per household, but in most cases, aid ends in hundreds of dollars.
A family receiving assistance is eligible to reapply the following year if the program is offered again. Right now, the funding is available until September 2023 or until it expires.
Program Uses federal pandemic relief funds, but states, regions and tribes are responsible for determining eligibility and distributing aid. The US Department of Health and Human Services has divided $1.1 billion in water assistance funds among 49 states, the District of Columbia, 97 tribal areas and five territories.
There is no fee to apply or receive assistance from the program. The US Department of Health and Human Services says people should Contact their fraud hotline If someone offers them a direct grant to cover water utilities or tries to charge a fee to apply for assistance.
Oklahoma LIHWAP Application
Oklahoma Department of Human Services approximately $15 million to distribute,
The state uses federal poverty guidelines to determine who is eligible for aid. Families that make up less than the 130% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for benefits in Oklahoma. just, income limit $2,495 per month for a family of three.
Oklahomans eligible for LIHWAP benefits will have a one-time credit applied to their water utility account.
Based on the household’s income and water needs, that credit would be $80 and $750 . among, For Oklahomans in a verifiable water crisis, ODHS can intervene with the utility company to stop the water from shutting down or restoring it.
To apply for state LIHWAP benefits, visit Benefits website of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services And click on the red banner that says “Apply for Water Assistance.”
For the initial application, families are only required to provide this basic information, but OKDHS may ask for documentation later in the process. Eligibility is based on income and on a first-come, first-served basis, but OKDHS said it would give priority to homes for people who are elderly, disabled or have children under the age of 5.
Oklahomans can apply for SNAP Grocery Assistance and Soonercare at the same time. The state also offers a similar low-income home energy assistance program that helps with heating bills. That program isn’t accepting new applications, but the information on this application can be reused or updated to apply the next time the state opens enrollment this winter.
Information and Application for LIHWAP in Tribal Areas
Twenty-two tribes in Oklahoma are also providing LIHWAP benefits. Together, they have over $11 million in aid to distribute.
Indigenous peoples may meet eligibility requirements for both tribal and state benefits, but a family can receive LIHWAP assistance from only one unit per federal fiscal year.
Each tribe has its own independent process for determining eligibility. Nearly all tribes in Oklahoma use either 150% of the federal poverty guideline or 60% of the state’s median income as their income eligibility threshold. Kaw Nation is the only exception – it uses the same 130% federal poverty guideline limit as the state of Oklahoma.
You can read more about each tribe’s LIHWAP funding and eligibility process at LIHWAP Tribal Summary Profile,
Below is a list of tribes in Oklahoma that have funding for LIHWAP benefits. The application link and Tribal membership requirements are included if they were available at the time of publication.
Tribes in Oklahoma with LIHWAP Benefits:
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