This summer’s heat can create health challenges for seniors and people with certain medical conditions.

A cooling assistance program provides financial help to eligible low-income households and our most vulnerable citizens to help prevent heat-related illnesses.

The funds from this program help purchase and install a window air conditioning unit, repair an old unit, or purchase oscillating or window fans. The work is completed by a Community Action agency located in the state’s eight largest cities.

In order to qualify for assistance, current Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) clients under 60 years of age need a signed statement from a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or public health nurse verifying their medical condition and the need for a cooled living space. They must provide that information to a county social service office. Clients age 60 and over are not required to get documentation of a medical need.

Those not currently energy assistance program clients may also qualify. A three-person household earning up to $44,665 per year may qualify if their assets meet program limits. For information on qualifying incomes, visit the website.

Individuals should contact their county social service office to apply for the program before September 29.

The North Dakota departments of Human Services and Commerce work together in partnership with county social service offices to address the heating and cooling needs of low-income individuals.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that primarily helps qualifying households meet the cost of home heating. This past heating season, the program served about 12,100 households statewide. Last summer, 186 households participated in the cooling assistance program.

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