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Oklahoma opens applications for water, sewer bill assistance

A sink faucet water is just starting to run from.
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The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is accepting applications for household utility assistance.

The Low-Income Water Assistance Program uses federal pandemic relief funds to help Oklahomans maintain their access to water and sewer services. The program provides a one-time stipend that goes directly to the recipients’ utility provider to cover bills.

The program also provides separate emergency assistance for households who are in danger of losing access to water or wastewater utilities. Households who receive a shutoff notice from their water or wastewater provider have three days to apply.

A similar program to help with gas and electric bills is available twice a year; right now, the Department of Human Services is only accepting applications for emergency energy assistance. Households who have received a shutoff notice from their gas or electric utility are eligible to apply.

These programs use the same application, which is available at OKDHSlive.org. Eligibility is based on income, but funds are first-come, first-served.

Some tribes also offer these assistance programs to tribal members who live within a participating tribe’s service area. Many households may be eligible to apply for both state and tribal assistance, but they can only receive funds from one source each fiscal year.

You can read more about each tribe’s assistance funding and eligibility process on its Tribal Summary Profile.

There is no fee to apply or receive assistance from the program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says people should contact their fraud hotline if anyone offers them a direct grant to cover water utilities or tries to charge a fee to apply for assistance.

Household size; monthly gross income
1; $1473
2; $1984
3; $2495
4; $3007
5; $3518
6; $4029
7; $4541
8; $5052
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services shared these income eligibility limits for utilities assistance programs.
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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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