Utility assistance programs available through the Department of Economic Security and its community partners assist low income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes who spend a high proportion of their household income on utilities, in meeting their immediate home energy, utility and telephone needs. Those programs include:
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): DES subcontracts with community agencies to administer LIHEAP and provide one-time assistance to low income households for meeting the costs of their home energy. LIHEAP funding is based on a formula set by Congress based on each State's weather and low income population. Home energy is defined by statute as a source of heating or cooling in residential dwellings.
Utility and Telephone Discount Programs: DES administers four utility and telephone discount programs through agreements with Arizona Public Service Company (APS) and Qwest Corporation (Qwest) for low-income households:
Qwest’s Telephone Assistance Program for the Medically Needy pays for basic telephone service for individuals who have a medical need for a telephone in the home and are at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.
Qwest’s Lifeline Telephone Discount Program provides a discount to the basic telephone rates of households at or below 150% of the federal poverty level or who are receiving other, specifically defined DES services.
Qwest’s Senior Telephone Discount Program provides a discount on the basic telephone rates of individuals who are age 65 or older, and are at or below 100% of the federal poverty level.