Need Help Keeping the Heat On? DSS Can Help Pay Your Utility Bill

- The heat is on and that can be a struggle.

"When you're on a fixed income and you get one check a month and it's not even a thousand dollars," said Clara Epps, a senior citizen.

Especially when different bills are battling over the same dollar.

"Sometimes when you got to get something else, need to get some medicine, and you run behind, go two months. It goes up to the 400's," said Epps.

The Department of Social Services is now taking applications to help families pay their utility bills this winter.

“It’s definitely adding up. We definitely need help with that,” said Alexis Watson, mother.

"In order to be eligible for the program, you have to have a U.S. citizen in your home, be responsible for the utility bill, and you have to be at 130 percent of poverty. For a family of four, that's a gross income of about 26-hundred dollars," said Darrell Cunningham with DSS.

To apply, you have to go to one of the DSS offices, take your ID, social security number, proof of income, and utility bill.

“We don't send the payment directly to the clients. We send the payments directly to the utility company and then it's applied to the client's bill," said Cunningham.

If approved, you can get a one-time credit of 200-400 dollars to your utility account.

"Especially for the baby. The cost of electric is high. It would be helpful for us," said Watson.

So far this month, more than 15-hundred applicants have received assistance. Last year in January, more than 3-thousand were approved.

For more information, click here to go to the DSS website.

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