Assistance with Utility Bills

The Division of Human Services administers two utility assistance lottery programs for Boone County residents:

HELP program:

  • provides assistance to low-income families with children in the home. This assistance is limited to one time per year and five times per lifetime. 

CASH program

  • provides assistance to low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
In order to be eligible for the HELP or CASH programs:
  • You must be a permanent resident of Boone County.
    • University and College students who are claimed as dependents are not considered permanent residents, unless their parent or guardian resides in Boone County; in which case total household income is considered.
    • Residents of institutions (i.e. Phoenix House, McCambridge Center, etc.) are not considered permanent residents unless they maintain a current Boone County residence separate from the institution in which they are residing or were a resident of Boone County immediately prior to entering the institution.
    • Those living in transitional housing can provide a letter from the transitional housing facility to qualify.
    • Those who are homeless can provide a letter from Turning Point.
  • You must meet the specific requirements of the applicable program.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen, refugee or permanent resident alien.
  • You must have a household income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • You must have the utility account in the applicant’s name.
  • Only members of the applicant’s household are eligible for assistance. 
  • Generally, utility assistance may only be provided for active electric and/or water accounts. However, assistance with other utilities may be provided if necessary to maintain electric service. 

All applicants are carefully screened and counseled by social services specialists.  Appropriate referrals are made to assist the applicant in preventing future emergencies.

For Utility Assistance please complete this applicationInstructions to complete the application.

  • Contact our social services specialist who will assist you in the eligibility process at 1-573-817-6430.

Donate To HELP or CASH programs 

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation,, contact City of Columbia Utility Customer Services or Boone Electric at 573-449-4181, or complete and sign the annual donation card included in your bill.  Monthly billings will state your year-to-date contributions for tax records.  100% of contributions go directly to utility bill payments for persons in need.  No administrative costs are paid from your gift.

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