Income Assistance Programs
Soquel Creek Water District is committed to assisting our customers in every way possible, even when that assistance is not directly administered by the District.
The agencies and programs below are not intended to encompass all assistance available to Santa Cruz County residents, but may provide our customers a convenient resource to begin searching for the program that best suits their circumstances.
2-1-1 Santa Cruz County
2-1-1 is a centralized clearinghouse for the public to get information on health and human services. Access is easy. Callers can use the easy-to-remember, toll-free number, 2-1-1, where a trained specialist will match needs to local services. Or you can search the local directory at www.2-1-1santacruzcounty.com. Either way, it's easy to get referrals to local services that match your needs, such as utility and rental assistance. In times of disaster, 2-1-1 provides up-to-date information on road closures, evacuation sites and temporary shelters, relieving the burden on 9-1-1. Contact the United Way of Santa Cruz County at 2-1-1 for more information.
California Lifeline Telephone Program
The California Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) California Lifeline program provides discounted basic residential (landline) telephone services to low-income households. You can qualify for California Lifeline if you (or another person in your household) are enrolled in an eligible public-assistance program. You can also qualify if your total household income meets the California Lifeline income guidelines. For more information, please call your telephone company or the Lifeline Center at 866-272-0349. You can also visit PUC’s website at www.cpuc.ca.gov.
California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) provides a 20% discount on monthly PG&E bills to qualifying low income customers. Contact PG&E at 866-743-2273 or their website at www.pge.com/care/ for more information.
Catholic Charities provides immediate assistance for people facing rent/eviction situations, utility shutoff, food and lodging needs, and other emergency situations. For more information contact 831-722-2675.
Central Coast Energy Services
P.O. Box 2707
Watsonville, CA 95077-2707
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides a direct payment to an eligible client’s utility bill to help offset the cost of heating or cooling their home. This assistance is available once per calendar year for gas and electric, propane or firewood expenditures. HEAP also offers budget counseling services for low-income households.
Fast Track provides assistance to low-income households that are in a crisis situation. Examples include a household that has received a 24- or 48-hour disconnect notice or service termination by their utility company or an energy-related crisis of life-threatening emergency exists in the applicant’s household.
Any resident of California who meets the income guidelines and is responsible for energy costs in a residence may be eligible. More information is available online at www.csd.ca.gov/Programs/Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).aspx or by calling 888-728-3637.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) sometimes called the Earned Income Credit (EIC), is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.
To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be obligated to file a tax return. Contact the IRS at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-829-1040 for more information.
The Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) program provides financial assistance for qualifying low-income people who have received PG&E termination notices. This program is administered by the Salvation Army. For more information contact your local Salvation Army office at 831-426-8365 or 831-724-3922. Information is also available online at www.pge.com/reach
State of California Franchise Tax Board Homeowner and Renter Assistance
The Homeowner Assistance Program allows a once-a-year payment from the State of California to qualified individuals based on part of the property taxes assessed and paid on their homes. You may be eligible to file a claim if you are a United States citizen, designated alien or qualified alien when you file your claim and meet selected criteria.
The Renter Assistance Program allows a once-a-year payment from the State of California to qualified individuals based on part of the property taxes they paid indirectly when they paid their rent. You may be eligible to file a claim if you are a United States citizen, designated alien or qualified alien when you file your claim and meet selected criteria.
Also available is the Nonrefundable Renters’ Credit, which is a tax credit available to qualified California residents who paid rent on their primary residence.
For more information on any of these programs contact the Franchise Tax Board at 800-868-4171 or visit their website at www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/hra/index.shtml.
St. Vincent de Paul Society
The St. Vincent de Paul Society provides emergency assistance to those in need, including help with food, clothing, appliances, transportation, rent and utilities. For more information contact 831-423-0878 or 831-722-3250.