Oklahoma Department of Human Services Opens Applications for Summer Cooling Support Program

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFO) – The oppressive heat will soon return and with everything costing more these days, help is on the way for Oklahomans struggling to pay their utility bills.

Applications are now open for DHS’s summer cooling utility.

“We are constantly receiving letters from low-income Oklahomans letting us know how important this program is to them,” said Matthew Conley, administrator of DHS’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. “Older people, people with young children, when the heat rises, they need cooling to stay alive.”

Also known as LIHEAP, the program opens twice a year to qualified Oklahomans, allowing them to pay up to $150 on one utility bill, keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

“As long as they apply and they qualify, we can apply a payment directly to their utility,” Conley said.

It is a service essential for many low-income Oklahomans.

“It can be a life-threatening situation if you can’t cool your medicine or run your air conditioner or fans or run electricity to power your machines that keep people alive,” Conley said.

The program is funded by the federal government.

This year’s budget is $23 million.

“Once it’s released, we’ll have to shut down the program and take it off the website because all the money is gone,” Conley said.

Conley says every dollar this year will be used for Oklahomans in need.

“It’s really hard now,” he said.

That $150 can also be used to cover the cost of repair or purchase of refrigeration equipment.

People who need help can apply to OKDHSLive.org†

The maximum permitted gross monthly income per household size is as follows:

  • 1 person: $1,396
  • 2 people: $1,888
  • 3 people: $2,379
  • 4 people: $2,871
  • 5 people: $3,363
  • 6 people: $3,855
  • 7 people: $4,347
  • 8 people: $4,839

This year, 35,000 eligible households in Oklahoma have been pre-authorized for LIHEAP.

They have been notified by email.

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