Utility Assistance

Cage Lamp
SMCAA Emergency Assistance

SMCAA offers many emergency services designed to help residents across Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties, including emergency utility assistance such as gas, electric, water, and deliverable fuels. 

Eligibility differs based on programming. Apply today to see if you qualify for assistance.

COVID Aid, Relief, and Economic Security

In an effort to respond to the needs of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren County residents during and following the coronavirus pandemic, SMCAA has implemented services through the CARES Relief and Recovery Services, which comes from federal funding by the CARES Act. Specifically, CARES may provide utility payment assistance with electric, gas, water, and deliverable fuels.

Eligible clients are 200% of Poverty, must provide proof of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and receive benefits through MDHHS. 

Senior Man with Mask
Water and Wastewater Assistance

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides direct payment assistance for water and wastewater utilities designed to help households retain water service to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, as well as to reimburse water utility providers for providing bill forgiveness for arrearages and fees incurred by residential water customers.

Eligible clients must live within a participating LIHWAP municipality to enroll in the program. 

CERA - Utility Assistance

COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program can provide rental and utility assistance for eligible renter households so that they retain their housing stability.


SMCAA is administering rental and utility assistance in Van Buren County and utility assistance in Berrien County. (Rental assistance in Berrien County is administered through Emergency Shelter Services.)

Utility Pole
Deliverable Fuel Assistance (DELF)

SMCAA currently has funds to assist home energy needs when the primary heating source is deliverable fuel (propane, natural gas, etc.)  This assistance is available to eligible households in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties.


Eligibility is based on the SER application process. Apply today to see if you qualify for assistance.