Okla. DHS helping some pay their electric bills

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DURANT, OKLAHOMA -- It's hard to beat the heat without electricity.

Last year, Oklahoma DHS says they helped 96,000 Oklahomans pay their summer electricity bills and they expect to help the same number of people this summer.

Today, the Bryan County Department of Human Services lobby was packed with people trying to get in on the deal.

"Today we've been processing applications for summer cooling assistance," Bryan County Department of Human Services official Chris Watson said.

Oklahoma DHS is giving $22 million dollars to Oklahomans in need, based on their income and the number of people in their home.

Those who qualify will get $200 to $250 dollars to offset their electricity bills.

"A lot of times we have folks on fixed incomes coming to apply. We also have a lot of families who are working but who still meet the income guidelines," Watson said.

Chris says that in Bryan County alone, they expect to help 500 residents.

"It'll depend on the number of applicants that we have and it'll also depend on how long the program lasts," Watson.

Curtis Bully was approved for assistance today in Durant.

"I was laid off," Bully said.

He says this help means a lot to him.

"Oh for the time being, it'll help me pretty much stay on my feet, keep going," Bully said.

If you didn't apply today, Chris says to hurry in to an Oklahoma DHS office.

Oklahoma DHS officials say that last year, the money was gone in three days.

"It's going to depend on when the money is spent, so the sooner the better," Watson said.

For more information, head to dhs.org or http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/.

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