FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2022
New program now available to help low-income Missourians with water and wastewater bills
Jefferson City, MO - The Department of Social Services has begun accepting applications for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), a new program that may be able to help with a one-time payment for water and/or wastewater bills. LIHWAP can help with disconnection or reconnection fees, threats to disconnect water or wastewater, and current or past due water or wastewater bills. The maximum benefit amount available is $750.
“We are pleased to announce LIHWAP as a new service available to help Missourians,” said Robert Knodell, Acting Director of the Department of Social Services. “Individuals experiencing financial hardship should not have to choose between paying their water bill and paying for other essential needs. This one-time benefit may be exactly what some Missourians need to meet their basic needs and remain focused on planning for a better future.”
LIHWAP will serve eligible individuals through the help of local Contracted Agencies. Individuals with water and wastewater bills who are at or below 60 percent of the State Median Income (SMI) may be eligible for help through LIHWAP. For a family of four, 60 percent of the SMI would be a monthly income of $4,252 or a yearly income of $51,021. In addition to meeting the income criteria, individuals must:
- Be responsible for paying home utility costs
- Have $3,000 or less in bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments
- Live in Missouri
- Be a United States Citizen (or have been legally admitted for permanent residency)
To apply for help, Missourians will need to complete and submit a LIHEAP Application and any documents the application asks for to your local contracted agency by mail or online. If you submitted an application before February 28, 2022, you will need to resubmit your application. If you rent your home and pay your water or wastewater bill directly to your landlord, you will need to submit a Landlord Documentation Request with your application. For more information about LIHWAP and the services available visit the DSS website.
Missourians in need of information on SNAP, Medicaid, Child Care Subsidy, or Temporary Assistance benefit programs can visit dss.mo.gov. Individuals can also apply for these services 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov or by sending completed applications and verification documents by email to FSD.Documents@dss.mo.gov or fax to 573-526-9400. To learn more about resources available in Missouri to help individuals move towards a healthier, more stable future, review the Missouri Resource Guide.
The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives.