JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In September 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) issued $2,037,000 in supplemental Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payments to more than 1,600 households in Hinds County. These households previously received LIHEAP benefits from January 1 through August 30, 2022.

MDHS officials said supplemental payments were intended to benefit Hinds County households experiencing increased financial pressure related to the water crisis earlier this Fall.

“With energy costs forecast to average 17% higher than the prior year, MDHS provided this supplemental assistance to relieve additional stress households experience due to rising utility costs.” said Robert G. (Bob) Anderson, executive director of MDHS.

Payments totaling $1,250 were made directly to the client’s utility service provider and were based on the primary heating source used by the residence. According to MDHS, all households eligible for the supplement received a notice informing them that the supplemental payment of $1,250 was paid on their behalf to the household’s electricity and gas providers.

“I would like to share my appreciation to our Management Information Services (MIS) and Community Services (CS) teams for their quick work to deliver much needed assistance to Hinds County families,” stated Anderson.

LIHEAP is a federal program designed “to assist low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes, that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs.” This assistance targets the costs of heating and cooling in residential dwellings.

Mississippi households needing assistance with utility and water bills are encouraged to apply for services through www.access.ms.gov. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor.

Individuals without access to a computer should call 1-800-421-0762 for assistance.