The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) helps low income households pay the cost of drinking water and wastewater services. The program can assist households who have past due bills (arrears) for drinking water and/or wastewater services.
LIHWAP is a benefit based on the actual amount of drinking water and/or wastewater arrears, up to a maximum of $2,500 per drinking water or wastewater provider, or $5,000 if drinking water and wastewater services are combined, per applicant household. Benefits are paid directly to the household’s drinking water and/or wastewater vendor(s).
Eligibility and benefits are based on:
- household size, and
- amount owed to drinking water and/or wastewater provider(s).
Your household may be eligible for a benefit if:
- You or a member of your household are a Citizen, U.S. National, or qualified alien and
- Your household's gross monthly income is at or below the current income guidelines for your household size as posted in the table below; or
- You receive Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefits or
- You receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or
- You receive Temporary Assistance (TA); or
- You receive Code A Supplemental Security Income (SSI Living Alone); and,
- You pay a vendor directly for your drinking water and/or wastewater usage and
- Your drinking water, wastewater, or combined drinking water and wastewater account is twenty (20) days past the due date, you have a water lien that is levied on your local property taxes, or your drinking water, wastewater, or combined drinking water and wastewater service is terminated or otherwise facing disconnection due to unpaid arrears.
2021-2022 LIHWAP Monthly Income Limits
Your total household gross monthly income for your household size must be at or below the following guidelines:
|Household Size||Maximum Gross Monthly Income|
|Each additional||Add $568|
Applications are now being accepted.
What do I need to apply?
Applicants will need to include the following documentation along with your application:
- Proof of identity for the primary applicant.
- A valid Social Security Number for the primary applicant.
- Proof of residence.
- A drinking water, wastewater, or combined drinking water and wastewater bill listing your permanent and primary residence.
- Documentation of income for the primary applicant.
Ready to Apply?
Apply for LIHWAP online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- If you do not have a NY.Gov ID, you need to create a NY.gov ID before you apply.
- You will need to create a user ID and password.
- For both of these, you should choose something that's easy for you to remember but hard for other people to guess.
Print and mail or fax the LIHWAP Application to:
PO Box 1789
Albany, NY 12201
Fax: (518) 486-1259
- The application should be completed by the person who has primary and direct responsibility for payment of the drinking water, wastewater, or combined drinking water and wastewater bill.
- You must list your permanent, primary residence.
For more information about LIHWAP please call the NYS LIHWAP Call Center at 1-833-690-0208 or call the toll-free OTDA Hotline at 1-800-342-3009. You may also email LIHWAP at: NYSLIHWAP@otda.ny.gov.
If you are in an Emergency
An emergency is an urgent need or situation that has to be taken care of right away.
An example of an emergency is:
- Your water and/or wastewater is shut-off or is about to be shut-off, or you have a 72-hour disconnect notice.
If you are experiencing a drinking water and/or wastewater emergency, you may be eligible for Temporary Assistance. You may apply online at myBenefits.ny.gov or fill out the application form and file it at your Local Department of Social Services.
You may also contact your Local Department of Social Services online, or by calling the toll-free OTDA Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.
You are encouraged to contact and make arrangements with your drinking water and/or wastewater provider to discuss payment options. Some options may be a repayment or deferred payment agreement. There may also be local drinking water and/or wastewater assistance funds available.
- Home Energy Fair Practices Act
- 16 NYCRR Chapter 5, Part 14 - Rules Governing the Provision of Service by Certain Water Corporations and Residential Customers
- Notice of Updated Department of Public Service Guidance to Municipal Water Providers Relating to Service Disconnections, Liens, and Deferred Payment Agreements – issued December 17, 2021
- DPS Details Consumer Rights, Protections and Programs to Help Pay Utility Bills and Avoid Shutoffs – Updated Guidance on Consumer Protections for Customers Unable to Pay Utility Bills – December 20, 2021 Press Release