PIERRE – The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) announced additional funding has been secured to an assistance program that aids low-income families with heating and cooling equipment upkeep.
The state’s Low-Income Energy Assistance program offers eligible South Dakotans who own their home up anywhere between $6,400 and $20,000 to repair or replace their furnace or air conditioning system, depending on the size of the household.
Through the American Rescue Plan, the program doubled in size after acquiring an extra one million dollars, prompting DSS to add air conditioning systems for this year’s disbursements only.
“For low-income families in South Dakota, unexpected costs due to a furnace or air conditioner that is not functioning properly can be a struggle,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “By putting additional funding into this program, we can help ensure families will have reliable and efficient systems when they need them.”
The Rural Office of Community Services is responsible for disbursement of funds to eligible applicants who reside in Aurora, Bon Homme, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Clay, Davison, Douglas, Gregory, Hanson, Hutchinson, Jerauld, Lyman, Sanborn and Tripp counties .
Residents of other South Dakota counties should check the DSS website for additional information on who disburses funds in their area.
In addition to providing assistance with furnace and air conditioning system repairs, DSS also provides energy assistance to help low-income South Dakotans pay for home heating costs.
For that program, eligibility and assistance amounts are based on the number of people, income of everyone in the home, type and cost of heating and location.
Applications may be submitted any time for the upcoming winter. Assistance for eligible households that have outstanding heating costs for this past winter may be available if an application is received by April 30.
South Dakota residents seeking more information on any of DSS’s assistance programs should visit their energy assistance website.