Severe heat and humidity can spell danger for many, especially young children and older people.

One Virginia program is helping qualifying low-income households cool down.

Local Departments of Social Services throughout Virginia are accepting Cooling Assistance applications now through August 15, as part of the Virginia Department of Social Services' Energy Assistance Program.

Households have to have a child under six years old, a person with a disability, or an adult over 60 living in the home.

Single-person households have to have a monthly income of less than $1,265, before taxes. A family of four has to make less than $2,584 to qualify. 

Types of available cooling assistance:
· Payment of electric bills to operate cooling equipment
· Payment of security deposits for electricity to operate cooling equipment;
· Repair of a central air conditioning system or heat pump;
· Purchase of a whole-house fan, including ceiling or attic fans; and
· Purchase and installation of a window unit air conditioner for households without a working one.

Some households may get more than one type of assistance, but funds are limited.

The Energy Assistance Program is funded by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program block grant.

Families and individuals need to apply with their local department of social services or online via CommonHelp by August 15.

More than 70,000 households in Virginia took advantage of the Cooling Assistance program.

Click here for more information, or call 211-VIRGINIA.