The Forsyth County Department of Social Services has been awarded $659,455 of NC Department of Health and Human Services’ $38 million in federal funding to establish a new water assistance program for households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program begins Wednesday, Dec. 1. DSS has partnered with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities Department to obtain a list of households that have a disconnection or are at risk of disconnection. Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a temporary program that provides a one-time payment to assist households with water and wastewater bills, which is paid directly to the utility company. LIHWAP runs through September 2023 or until the funds run out.
Households that currently receive Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Work First services, or those that received Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) services between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, are automatically eligible to receive this benefit.
All other households that have lost water service or are in danger of losing it can apply starting Dec. 1, 2021 online at https://epass.nc.gov. Individuals can also apply by printing a paper application from https://.epass.nc.gov and dropping it off at or faxing it to the Department of Social Services located at 741 N. Highland Ave in Winston-Salem, or by calling DSS at 336-703-3800.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, all households that are not in danger of losing their water service can apply for assistance if they meet the eligibility requirements. To be eligible for the LIHWAP program, a household must have at least one U.S. citizen or non-citizen and: