Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides a one-time payment up to $750 from October 1 through September 30, to help eligible households pay for their current or past due water and/or wastewater (sewer) bills, and disconnection and reconnection fees. DSS will make payments directly to the participating utility company.

The Program Begins October 1, 2023  for elderly & disabled households and November 1, 2023, for all other households. 


Frequently Asked Questions About LIHWAP

As the Missouri Water Assistance program applications detail, households that apply for assistance should continue to pay on their bill to avoid disconnection. All requests are processed in the order they were received, by account status.

LIHWAP stands for Low Incoming Housing Water Assistance Program.

  • One household with an active utility account.
  • The applicant must reside in the home listed on the application.
  • One active account + one meter = one household


NOTE: Households that have their utilities included in their rental payment are not eligible for ECIP assistance.

  • Mail/Drop off to CMCA Boone Resource Center at 800 N Providence Rd Columbia MO
  • Fax information to 573-370-1212
  • Submit your application and documents through the Department of Social Services online website. Water Assistance: https://mydss.mo.gov/utility-assistance/lihwap
  • Electronic communications outside of DSS online will not be accepted.
  • Call IVR at 573-615-8822 to check the status of your application. 
  • If you need additional assistance, call the Emergency Utility Assistance Line at 573-200-6655 and follow the prompts carefully.

Standard processing time takes about 30-45 business days when we have all required information with the application. If there is additional information needed, it can cause delays in processing. Pledges are not submitted on water assistance accounts.

  • The LIHWAP (water) program runs from November 1 through September 30 for elderly and disabled applicants. It runs December 1 through September 30 for general public applicants.
  • Every household must apply for assistance one time a year, every year.
  • Should any information change during the same year you have originally applied, you may be asked to submit a new application.
  • Should your original application be denied, you must submit a whole new completed application with all necessary documents again.
  • When anything changes from the original application you submitted, i.e. your address changes, your account number changes, someone moves in/out of your household, your original application was denied, or your utility company changes.
  • The LIHWAP program is a one-time per year assistance program. If you have received a payment within the past year, you are ineligible for assistance until the following October, and a new application will not be needed.

Charges that are applied to your utility bill that the LIHWAP program funds cannot cover.

LIHWAP can cover water fees, sewer fees, reconnect fees, deposits, late fees, and applicable taxes as outlined on the bill. This program cannot cover storm water charges.

Refer to page 5 of the LIHWAP application that lists all the documents required to process your application.

You must submit a completed application, including written Social Security numbers for ALL household members on Part 2 of the application, as well as copies of your utility bills. Refer to the last page of the LIHWAP application. You will find a list of documents needed for processing the application, even for those who are actively receiving food

If your entire household is attesting to receiving no income at all, please complete the Low Income Interview Guide for the water assistance program located in the Documents section.

It is required that all utility bills are in the name of at least one household member who is listed on the application. If not, contact your utility provider to update the name on the account.

  • If the bill is in a landlord’s name and you pay your utilities in your rent, or to your landlord
    directly, provide the Landlord/Renter Documentation Form to your landlord to complete. Form can be found in the Documents section.
  • Attach the completed form to your LIHWAP application before submitting.

Each utility company has a different webpage, however there should always be a link or “View your bill” option on your account login page. Once that PDF is downloaded, you can print and mail or fax it into CMCA.

NOTE: Screenshots of text notices that are received will not be accepted. It MUST be a copy of the actual utility bill.

The LIHWAP program is a non-crisis program. We have to process applications in the order received, therefore we cannot guarantee timely processing to prevent disconnection. 

Refer to our Other county resources guide for more timely assistance.

Please read the letter carefully to learn what is needed by the Energy Department to process your request. If you still have questions about what documentation is required, call the Emergency Utility Assistance Line at 573-200-6655  to request assistance with what is needed to continue processing your application.

The main form of communication from the CMCA Energy Assistance Department will be via letter as the State program

All appointments must be requested via the Emergency Utility Assistance Line at 573-200-6655 and scheduled in the order they are received.

Appointments scheduled are at the discretion of CMCA representatives upon the nature of the request.

NOTE: Appointments may be scheduled in conjunction with referrals to other programs offered by CMCA and will only apply to those household circumstances that are outside standard operating procedure; for example, the applicant has physical challenges in completing an application, requested assistance with another program, has a question on the information request they received from the CMCA Energy Assistance Department, etc.

If for any reason you need additional (utility or otherwise) assistance that the LIHWAP department cannot provide please refer to our Other county resources guide for more timely assistance.

Who Is Eligible For LIHWAP?

You may be eligible if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • Are responsible for paying the water or sewer bill
  • All household members are United States citizens (or have been legally admitted for permanent residence)
  • Have $3,000 or less in your bank accounts and retirement and investment accounts
  • Meet income guidelines for your household size.


NOTE: If all household members currently get Temporary Assistance (cash)
or SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits, you are automatically eligible for LIHWAP.
You must still apply for the program to get the benefit.

income guidelines

How Do I Apply For LIHWAP?

  • Visit mydss.mo.gov/utility-assistance to download  and complete the application.
  • Submit the application along with any required documentation by mail to:  CMCA, 800 N. Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203
  • Make sure to include your water or wastewater bill and the bill date is within the last 30 days previous to the date you are mailing your application.
  • If you rent your home, make sure to include a copy of your Lease Agreement(s), and the Landlord Document Request Form if required.  See more about renter requirements under “What if I rent my home?” on the Missouri Division of Social Services website. 

What if my water or wastewater company Doesn’t participate in the LIWAP program?

If your water or wastewater company does not participate in the LIHWAP program, you will not be approved for LIHWAP your water or wastewater company does not participate in the LIHWAP program, you will not be approved for LIHWAP.

Landlord Form

Have your landlord fill out this form completely if utilities are included in your rent OR your utility bills are listed in your landlords’ name. Attach this form when submitting the LIHWAP application.

Member Form

Fill out this form and submit with your application if the ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD (all household members over 18 years old) does not claim any income for the month prior to submitting the LIHWAP application.