Emergency Bill Assistance in Louisiana: Where To Go When You Need Help

Life can throw unexpected financial challenges our way. When this happens, keeping up with essential bills can be difficult.

Fortunately, Louisiana offers several resources to help residents cover utility bills, rent and groceries.

Whether you live in a small town or a major city like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, or Shreveport, here’s a guide on where to turn when you need help in Louisiana.

Note: Available funding and eligibility requirements may change over time, so be sure to read through each website thoroughly.

Electric Bill Assistance

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): LIHEAP helps low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs. After reviewing eligibility requirements, you can contact the state agent for Louisiana.

Cleco Alternative Rate for Electricity (CARE): This energy company offers a 25% discount on bills in July, August and September to qualifying customers. Customers must enroll in CARE through their local agency. Customers receiving LIHEAP benefits are automatically enrolled.

Louisiana Weatherization Assistance Program: The Louisiana Housing Corporation covers energy-efficient home improvements to qualifying households. These energy-conserving updates could potentially reduce energy bills.

Gas Bill Assistance

LIHEAP: LIHEAP assists low-income households with heating and cooling costs, which include both gas and electricity.

Entergy’s Power to Care Program: United Way of Central Louisiana partners with Entergy to provide emergency bill payment assistance to seniors and disabled individuals. Contact your local agency to apply.

Water Bill Assistance

Shreveport Water Assistance Program (SWAP): The city of Shreveport offers assistance with water and sewage bills for qualifying residents. Assistance is available to eligible households twice per year.

Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana: If you’re part of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron or Jefferson Davis parishes, you may be able to get assistance from Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana. They ask that you call to make an appointment, and bring the required documents listed on their website.

Internet and Phone Bill Assistance

Lifeline Assistance Program: Lifeline is a federal program that provides a discount on phone and internet service for qualifying low-income consumers.

Access from AT&T: This program offers low-cost internet service to qualifying households. Eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions are listed on their website.

Rent Assistance

Catholic Charities of North Louisiana: If funds are available, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana may be able to cover a portion of your rent or utility bill. To become eligible, applicants need to attend a session of their free Money $chool® program.

Housing Choice Vouchers: The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) helps very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled afford safe, decent housing in the private market. Participants find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. Eligibility is based on income and family size, and participants pay a portion of rent, with PHAs covering the rest. Vouchers can also be used to purchase homes under certain conditions. Contact your local PHA to apply.

Grocery Assistance

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Previously known as food stamps, SNAP provides monthly benefits to eligible low-income families to purchase food. In Louisiana, you can apply online through the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS).

Feeding Louisiana: Feeding Louisiana is a nonprofit organization that coordinates efforts among the state’s five regional food banks to combat hunger. The organization provides short-term food relief and works on long-term solutions through advocacy, education and leadership.

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children): WIC offers nutrition education, healthy food, breastfeeding support and connections to health services. Eligible participants include pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age five. Participants can use WIC at self-checkout in certain stores and access a variety of nutritious foods and recipes.

The USDA’s Summer Nutrition Programs (SUN): These programs provide children access to nutritious meals during the summer when school meals are unavailable. These programs include SUN Meals, which provide free meals at various community locations, SUN Meals To-Go for rural areas offering pick-up or delivery options, and SUN Bucks, a new grocery benefit providing $120 per eligible child. Find your local site in Louisiana.

The Bottom Line

Navigating financial hardships can be incredibly stressful, but knowing where to find help can make a significant difference. The resources listed above are designed to provide relief and support to Louisiana residents in times of need. For the most current and detailed information, always check the official websites and contact the organizations directly.

DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational purposes only. CashNetUSA and its affiliates do not provide financial, legal, investment or tax advice. We do not warrant that this material will continue to be accurate, nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Verify statements before relying on them.

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