FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2020
Release of $15 million to Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program doubles summer benefit amount to help more Missourians during Phase 2 of Recovery Plan
JEFFERSON CITY, MO — Today, the Department of Social Services (DSS) announced additional funding of $15 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program that helps low-income Missourians with payments for their summer cooling bills from June 1 through September 30, 2020. The additional dollars double the maximum benefit amount to $600 and allows DSS to serve the needs of a greater number of Missourians who are now facing a crisis. To be eligible for the program, low-income Missourians must:
- Be responsible for paying home cooling costs,
- Have $3,000 or less in bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments,
- Have a household income of 135 percent or less of the federal poverty level (a monthly income of $2,400 for a family of three or $2,897 for a family of four) and,
- Be a U.S. citizen or legally admitted for permanent residence.
"We want Missourians to remain healthy, especially when dangerously high temperatures can make homes unsafe," said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, and Department of Social Services. "More families than ever are struggling with financial hardships and may not have enough resources to pay the electric bill to cool their household and keep food on the table. We are grateful to utility companies for providing temporary relief to Missourians who cannot pay their utility bills; however, this cannot last forever. As we move Missouri' Show Me Strong Recovery Plan forward, we want to make sure Missouri citizens know that LIHEAP may be available to help with cooling costs."
To apply for the LIHEAP program, households need to complete one application form and then mail or fax the form to the office serving their community listed on last page of the application.
For Federal Fiscal Year 2019, (October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019), 114,639 Missouri households received LIHEAP assistance.
Missourians who have questions can use the DSS Virtual Assistant to get immediate answers to basic questions that are not specific to an individual’s case 24 hours a day or can call 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Missouri Services Navigator has information on over 2,800 programs and services available in the state. Missourians in need of information on LIHEAP, Food Stamp, Medicaid, Child Care Subsidy, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit dss.mo.gov. Missourians can also apply for those services 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov, or sending completed applications and verification documents by email to FSD.Documents@dss.mo.gov, or by fax to 573-526-9400.
The Department of Social Services is committed to the “Show Me Strong" Recovery Plan and serving the needs of Missouri citizens during COVID-19 pandemic. Information regarding the department’s response to the pandemic is available online https://dss.mo.gov/covid-19.
The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives. Visit dss.mo.gov to learn more about the Department of Social Services and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.