HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The Virginia Department of Social Services’ Cooling Assistance Program helps families with vulnerable members in their household struggling to keep their homes cool during the summer.
To be eligible for the program, a household must contain at least one person who is younger than 6 years old, older than 60 years old or disabled.
"For some people, this really could be a life-or-death situation," said Bryan Clark with the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services. “It's not always just a matter of comfort when you're talking about the very old, the very young, or those with disabilities — that can be a life-changing circumstance.”
The program provides up to $400 per household to install or repair cooling equipment or pay an outstanding utility bill.
The Cooling Assistance Program is open to all Virginia residents.
Applicants must apply by August 15.
The program was established in 2003. More than 1,000 residents in Virginia Beach are helped each year.
People can apply online at commonhelp.virginia.gov or by calling 855-635-4370.
Click here to download a paper application. Paper applications must be returned to local social services offices where the applicant lives to be considered.
The Virginia Department of Social Services also offers a similar program in the winter called the Fuel Assistance Program. Applications are accepted starting on the second Tuesday in October until the second Friday in November.
Fuel Assistance Program applicants can also apply by calling 855-635-4370 or online by clicking here.