DHS to Help Low-Income Families with Air Conditioning Bills

The Department of Human Services is preparing to help thousands of low-income families across the state with their cooling bills.

"It's just to help low income families be able to have some air condition in the heat," said DHS Social Service specialist Patty Padgett.

There are about $16 million in federal funds that will be allocated to low-income families, especially those facing heat-related health problems.

Padgett said the Tulsa area usually helps between 3,000 and 4,000 families. DHS sent applications to some of those they already serve who would likely qualify.

Veteran Michael Morrison has completed his application. He has high blood pressure, which is a large concern for him over the summer.

"I need it [air conditioning] bad, because of my blood pressure. I'm trying to keep it down, because I don't want to have a stroke," Morrison said.

So, far Padgett said the DHS in Tulsa estimates about 2,800 applications are filled out. Tuesday is the beginning of walk-in applications.

The program makes a one-time payment to recipient's electric companies. Single-person households can receive a $120 credit. Households that qualify with two or more people can receive $180.

Padgett said people who want to apply must bring identification and proof of income from June 1st until now. The application requires all incomes and people in a household to be listed.