MAAC is dedicated to reducing poverty by helping low-income individuals and families achieve and maintain economic security, meet their home utility needs, and reduce their utility costs through energy efficiency upgrades and access to clean renewable energy.
LIHWAP is a one-time, federally funded relief program that provides financial assistance to low-income households who have struggled to make water and/or wastewater payments prior to, and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- One-time benefit: a household may receive one benefit payment for water OR wastewater (including stormwater charges) or both if the bill includes both services during the program period.
- Maximum Benefit: $2,000
- Coverage: payment can cover the water OR wastewater arrearage amount (including stormwater charges), or both if the bill includes both services, to include current charges, late fees, reconnection fees, taxes, and other charges.
- Bundled Bills: if a water or wastewater system cannot distinguish water or wastewater costs from other bundled service charges (such as garbage, electricity, etc.) the benefit payment may only cover current charges, late fees, reconnection fees, taxes, and other charges associated with water and/or wastewater (including stormwater charges) portions of the bill.
Benefits must be paid directly to owners and operators of public systems (defined as community water systems, community water system billing entities, wastewater treatment providers, or wastewater billing entities in California).
- Must have access to email
- Reside in MAAC’s Service Area:
- Income eligible:
- Recipient of LIHEAP, CalWorks, or CalFresh; OR income eligible according to the household income chart provided below
2022 INCOME GUIDELINES
|Size of Household||Monthly Income|
NOTE: Income amounts for family sizes greater than six persons were determined based on the following calculation:
Add 1% to 132% for each additional family member, multiply the new percentage by $59,186,and divide by 12.
Example: household size of 7: 132% + 3% = 135% x $59,186 = $79,901.10 ÷ 12 = $6,658.43 per month.
- Proof of government identification; identification must include a photo. Examples: state identification (ID) card, driver license, U.S. passport or passport card, U.S. military card (front and back), employment authorization card, Permanent Resident Card
- The name on the application must be the same as the name indicated on the government issued ID.
- Expired government issued ID is acceptable for a period of one year from expiration date. For seniors 60 and above, an expired government issued ID is acceptable regardless of expiration date.
- Must have debt owed to a water and/or wastewater system from nonpayment (past due balance) of residential accounts that accrued during any time period.
- An applicant with water or wastewater utilities included in rent must be past due on their rent.
- Applicant may be any member of the household. It is not required that the applicant’s name be the same as the water or wastewater account holder.
- Benefits must be paid directly to water systems so applicants who owe a balance for water or wastewater services to a non-participating water system are not eligible to receive assistance. For a list of participating water systems, visit: https://www.csd.ca.gov/lihwap. Contact the CSD LIHWAP team at LIHWAP@csd.ca.gov to inquire about a specific water system’s status.
Applications are currently not available; Please check back soon for updates.
Question: This program (LIHWAP) benefits both water and wastewater, right?
Answer: Yes. However, the benefit may only be applied to one household bill. If water and wastewater charges appear together on one bill, then the LIHWAP benefit may be applied to both water AND wastewater. If water and wastewater charges appear on separate bills, the applicant must choose which bill, water OR wastewater, to apply the LIHWAP benefit.
Question: How can we find out if a water system is participating?
Answer: CSD will post an updated list of participating water systems on their public website weekly at https://www.csd.ca.gov/lihwap. You may also contact the CSD LIHWAP team at LIHWAP@csd.ca.gov to inquire about a specific water system’s status.
Question: Do I need a photo ID to apply for the program?
Answer: Yes, a government-issued photo ID is required for LIHWAP.
Question: Do I need my social security card as well to apply for the program?
Answer: No, your physical social security card is not required, but we will need your social security number (SSN) or another unique identifier to transfer the application to CORE for processing and payment.
Question: If the applicant is a current recipient of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or LIHEAP, are they automatically eligible for LIHWAP even if they are over income?
Answer: Yes, if the applicant is currently participating in one of those programs, they will only need to self-certify their income, even if the total household income is over current LIHWAP guidelines. Proof of income will not be required for these applicants, but the total household income would still need to be provided.
Question: Do applicants who receive Medi-Cal but not cash aid or CalFresh automatically qualify for LIHWAP?
Answer: At this time, applicants must be a recipient of one or more of the following programs: LIHEAP, CalWORKs, or CalFresh to be automatically qualified for LIHWAP. Applicants not participating in one of those three programs must qualify according to the above income guidelines.
Question: Can the program assist with disconnections and recently closed water accounts?
Answer: Yes, we can still assist the applicant if their water has been disconnected or the account was recently closed. We can add reconnection fees and submit payment to the water system.
Question: If the applicant has a past due balance (debt), will LIHWAP cover the current balance too?
Answer: Yes, LIHWAP may be applied to both past due and current charges up to the maximum amount of $2,000 per household.
Question: If utilities are included with rent and not on a separate bill, is the applicant still eligible for assistance?
Answer: Yes. The applicant must be listed on the lease or agreement between the landlord and tenant/renter; the landlord must sign CSD Form 40 provided by MAAC (landlord agreement that benefits will be applied towards rent); the landlord must provide a copy of the water bill to confirm the account number for the property.
Question: How long does it take for the water system to receive payment?
Answer: 30-45 days from the CORE submission date (when MAAC has approved the application and made the referral).
If you have any questions regarding the LIHWAP program, please contact us via phone 619.426.3595 or email water@MAACproject.org.