Thursday, June 13, 2024

Virginia’s Cooling Assistance Application Period Underway

RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will provide cooling assistance to qualifying households this year through the Virginia Energy Assistance Program (EAP).

Applications are currently being accepted and can be submitted until Tuesday, Aug. 15.

To qualify, a household must have a child less than six years of age, an adult 60 years or older, or an individual living with a disability. Income requirements, which are based on a household’s gross monthly income (before taxes), can be found on the Virginia Department of Social Services website in both English and Spanish.

Individuals and families in need of assistance are encouraged to apply, even if they are unsure of their eligibility status, VDSS said.   

According to VDSS, assistance is available for:

    • 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.

VDSS noted households that received a one-time benefit of $600 for payment of electric bills to operate cooling equipment in June will not be eligible to receive additional payments for this type of assistance in 2023.

Applications can be submitted to a local department of social services, online via CommonHelp, or by calling 1-855-635-4370. Eligibility is determined by the local department of social services.  

VDSS highlighted that it has provided relief to local residents through the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for more than 20 years, adding that last year, cooling assistance was provided to over 86,000 Virginia households through the LIHEAP. 

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