Virginians can apply to get help with high heating costs,

Posted at 8:08 PM, Feb 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-10 20:12:55-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) offers a service to help families whose heating bills have been steep, and whom can’t pay energy emergencies.

“We have had an extremely cold winter and will continue to experience severe weather for weeks to come. No citizen should have to face the winter months without heat,” said Margaret Schultze, Virginia Department of
Social Services’ Commissioner.

Residents submit applications for “Crisis Assistance” to the VDSS. The deadline is still more than a month away, set for March 17.  Families and individuals must apply through their local department of social services office.

An energy emergency is determined when a household has no heat or is in imminent danger of being without heat. Examples include: lack of heat, primary heat utility cut-off is imminent, and inoperable or unsafe heating  equipment.

Crisis Assistance may include: payment of primary heat utility security deposit; purchase of primary home heating fuel; payment of primary heat utility bill; repair of heating equipment; replacement of  heating equipment; and/or provision of supplemental heating equipment/maintenance.

To qualify for Crisis Assistance, the maximum gross monthly income for a one-person household cannot exceed  $1,245. For a household of four, the maximum gross monthly income is $2,552.

Last year, just more than  23,000 households received assistance. In addition to applying through their local department of Social Services, citizens can also screen for services or apply online at

For more information on the EAP visit