LIHEAP / ECAP: Low-Income Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) Bill Pay

The LIHWAP (Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program) a 100 percent federally funded short- term program to assist low-income households paying a high portion of their income for drinking water and wastewater services.

The program provides assistance to low income households to reduce arrearages of and rates charged for drinking water and wastewater services.  Eligible households benefit amount will be paid directly to the owners and operators of the public water systems.

The LIHWAP program is closely modeled after the LIHEAP program including the procedures, policies, announcements, application, and approval systems.

It is anticipated the application process for LIHWAP will start Tuesday, December 28th in conjunction with LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) Winter Heating program.

The application process will be the same as for the LIHEAP program, which is online at www.okdhslive.org. There will be separate check box that is required to apply for LIHWAP assistance and the program will likely end before the LIHEAP program, as LIHEAP receives more federal funding.

There are two components of the LIHWAP program: the Water Bill Pay and the Water Crisis. The information below is for the for the Water Bill Pay component.

Centralized LIHEAP staff will process and determine eligibility for the LIHWAP components as they do for the LIHEAP components.

County staff responsibilities are the same for LIHWAP as they are for LIHEAP which includes but is not limited to:

  • answer the client’s questions by reviewing: Imaging, Disc Image, 105 screens, NL/NI screens, case notes
  • assist the client with an online proxy, if needed
  • route verification to 90L
  • check and explain the case status and verification requested
  • make referrals and explain the programs

Below is a side by side comparison of the LIHWAP Water Bill Pay program and the LIHEAP Winter Heating program areas in which the programs are the same.

 

Account Number

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Funds must be paid to an active account at the current address.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Funds must be paid to an active account at the current address.

Eligibility Determination

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Centralized LIHEAP/LIHWAP staff gather information and determine eligibility.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Centralized LIHEAP/LIHWAP staff gather information and determine eligibility.

Household Composition

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Follows the LIHEAP one chimney rule, roomer and boarders policies.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Follows the LIHEAP one chimney rule, roomer and boarders policies.

Income and Resources

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Uses the LIHEAP income and resource guidelines Appendix C-7.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Uses the LIHEAP income and resource guidelines Appendix C-7.

Random Moment Time Study

LIHEAP Winter Heating

When serving as a proxy for LIHEAP record general case information on the Random Moment Time Study. When serving as a proxy for LIHEAP/LIHWAP and another benefit, record the action take on the other benefit.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

When serving as a proxy for LIHEAP record general case information on the Random Moment Time Study. When serving as a proxy for LIHEAP/LIHWAP and another benefit, record the action take on the other benefit.

Utility Crisis

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Is not a crisis program.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Is not a crisis program.

Vulnerability

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Must be at least partially responsible for utility service.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Must be at least partially responsible for water or waste water service.

Below is a side by side comparison of the LIHWAP Water Bill Pay program and the LIHEAP Winter Heating program areas in which the programs are different.

Applicant

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Must apply online at OKDHSLive, over the phone, or by paper application, unless they are preauthorized.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Must apply online at OKDHSLive, over the phone, or by paper application, in addition to LIHEAP. There is a separate question on the online application to apply for water bill pay. Refer to example, shown here:

Water Assistance (LIHWAP)
Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is subject to available funding.
To qualify for LIHWAP, you must provide:
  • your water utility account information.

Application Timeframe

LIHEAP Winter Heating

The open enrollment to submit applications for Winter Heating will most likely be a longer application period than for Water Bill Pay. A broadcast message will be sent out in advance of the program closure.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

The open enrollment to submit applications for Water Bill Pay will most likely be a shorter application period than for Winter Heating. A broadcast message will be sent out in advance of the program closure.

Benefit Matrix

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Is based on household size and income, uses the Appendix C-7-A. Must meet Gross Income standard on the Appendix C-7 before deductions is given for greater benefit payment.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Is based on household size and income, uses the Water Bill Pay Matrix. Must meet Gross Income standard before deduction is given for greater benefit payment.

Water Bill Pay Matrix
Net Income HH Size 1-3 HH Size 4-6 HH Size
0-400 182 200 218
401-700 167 184 201
701-ineligible 154 169 185

Business Account

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Is designed to assist eligible households and is for a residential dwelling. Cannot be paid to a business account.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Is designed to assist eligible households and is for a residential dwelling. Cannot be paid to a business account. One exception is made for renters with all bills included in the rent, will need to provide a written statement from the landlord to establish the specific amount that is for the drinking water or waste water utility, if the client is eligible the landlord account will be paid on behalf of the eligible household.

Direct Payment

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Eligible households whose utility provider to NOT participate, will receive payment directly to the household in the form of an Oklahoma Master Debit Card.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Benefits must be paid directly to the public water or waste water provider on behalf of eligible households. If the provider is not a participating provider the household cannot receive payment even if they are otherwise eligible.

IMS Transaction (Mainframe)

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Uses the 105H and 105HQ transaction in IMS.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Uses the 105E and 105EQ transaction in IMS.

Multiple Benefits

LIHEAP Winter Heating

The household can receive 1 benefit payment for each LIHEAP component in the same federal fiscal year, if eligible.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

The household can only receive 1 Water Bill Pay benefit per federal fiscal year.

Notices

LIHEAP Winter Heating

A notice will be issued for each LIHEAP component.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

A separate notice will be issued for the Water Bill Pay.

Open Enrollment

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Open enrollment for Winter Heating is dependent upon receipt of federal funding and usually begins in December.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Open enrollment for Water Bill Pay will be the same time as open enrollment for LIHEAP Winter Heating and Summer Cooling. Eligible households can only receive 1 benefit per federal fiscal year. If the household receives Water Bill Pay in December they are not eligible to receive it again in July.

Providers

LIHEAP Winter Heating

Benefits for eligible households must be paid to the vendor for the primary source of heat when they are a participating providers. Eligible applicants whose utility providers do NOT participate, will receive payment directly to the household in the form of an Oklahoma Master Debit Card.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

Benefits for eligible households must be paid to water or wastewater providers who are public providers and are a participating provider with DHS. This excludes households who use well water. In addition, benefits can NOT be used for infrastructure improvements.

Services

LIHEAP Winter Heating

The benefit payment must be applied to the primary source of heat for the household. Authorized payments may not be applied toward water, trash, cable or other services.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

The benefit payments must be applied to the water, or waste water portion of the bill. Authorized payments may not be applied toward electric, gas, trash, cable, or other services.

Verification

LIHEAP Winter Heating

If the household does not have open benefits or information is questionable verification must be provided to determine eligibility.

LIHWAP Water Bill Pay

If the household does not have open benefits or information is questionable verification must be provided to determine eligibility. We will use the information provided for the LIHEAP program to determine eligibility, if the household applied for LIHEAP.

Comments or Suggestions?

We want Quest to be your source for important information that you need to succeed at in your work but we need your help:

Was this article helpful? Was it missing something you needed to get the job done?

Tell us what you think, what you know about this article. What are we doing well, and what we could do better.

All fields are required.