The Virginia Department of Social Services will provide qualifying households with cooling assistance during the summer months. Applications are currently being accepted and can be submitted until Thursday, Aug. 15, according to a news release.

In order to qualify for cooling assistance, a household must have a child less than six years of age, an individual living with a disability or an adult age 60 or older living in the home. Eligible households must also meet income requirements for cooling assistance. This year, the maximum gross monthly income, before taxes, for a one-person household is $1,354 and $2,790 for a household of four.

Types of assistance include:

• Payment of electric bills to operate cooling equipment;

• Payment of security deposits for electricity to operate cooling equipment;

• Repair of a central air conditioning system or heat pump;

• Purchase of a whole-house fan, including ceiling or attic fans; and

• Purchase and installation of a window-unit air conditioner.

Individuals and families who have a need for cooling assistance, but are unsure of their eligibility status, are encouraged to submit an application. Local departments of social services determine eligibility based on submitted applications. Families and individuals may submit an application through their local department of social services or by calling the Enterprise Customer Service Center at 1-855-635-4370. Applications can also be submitted online via CommonHelp by the Aug. 15.

Last year, the Energy Assistance Program provided more than 66,000 households with cooling assistance, according to the release. The Energy Assistance Program is federally funded by the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program block grant. To learn more about the program, including other types of assistance, visit http://dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/index.cgi.

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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