Frequently Asked Questions

Head of Household or the spouse. Utility bills cannot be in a deceased persons’ name.

Within 30 days of the date that the applicant signed for the award. Your meter may be read within those 30 days. If so, subtract the amount of your award from the amount of the new bill.

Depends on the program. Up to two times for the Heating Program and up to two times for the Cooling Program. Each program can award regular assistance and/or crisis assistance. You may combine regular and crisis assistance if you qualify for both. This is necessary if the amount that you qualify for is not enough to cover the entire bill.

Income from Social Security benefits is verified by the annual benefits statement that you receive in December of each year.

The utility bill (gas/power) for renters must be in the renter’s/tenant’s name, even if you are responsible for paying the bill yourself.

Employers that don’t give check stubs to employees must complete a “Release of Income Information” to verify the employees gross income. You can request that form from us.

The amount of awards for all programs that we administer are determined by a computer software (FACSPro), and is based on gross household income, number of people in the household and the federal poverty rate for each program.

Credit balances after you move out and/or close an account with a utility company is returned to Community Action.

To avoid late fees in Public Housing, schedule an appointment for assistance immediately after you receive the excess utility bill or as soon as you know that you need the assistance. Payments on your behalf can take up to 30 days.

Each Water Authority providing drinking water and wastewater services to Etowah County residents must sign a Vendor Agreement with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to participate in this program. Community Action cannot remit payments on behalf of water customers to Water Authorities that are not on the Vendor List. Current Water Assistance Program participants are: Gadsden, Attalla, Hokes Bluff, Tillison Bend, Whorton Bend, Rainbow City, Reece City, Northeast Etowah County, Altoona, West Etowah County, Southside, Sardis City, Highland, Walnut Grove and Boaz.

LIHWAP funds can only be used for a household’s current water and wastewater service bill or the household’s arrearages including standard reconnection charges, late payment fees and penalties.

If you have any further questions that were not answered, please contact us.

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