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The Missouri Department of Social Services is 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.

It can help with disconnection or reconnection fees, threats to disconnect water or wastewater, and current or past due water or wastewater bills. The maximum amount 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.

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 U.S. citizen (or have been legally admitted for permanent residency)

Officials said applications are available here:

Additional information is available from Ozark Action Inc., which is the local contracted agency on the program.

For more information about LIHWAP and the services available visit the DSS website:

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