Get assistance with paying your water bill in Pennsylvania. Customers that are facing an emergency or crisis situation may be able to get help with water bills from the Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program. This resource can assist qualified low income Pennsylvania customers with various utility expenses. The organization relies on donations from the public as well as contributions from utility companies across the region. They then partner with dozens of utility and water companies across the state to help as many people as possible.
The type and amount of assistance provided will vary greatly based on the programs current funding and the financial situation of the applicant. In general, after applying for the program, a qualified customer may be able to receive a one-time cash grant that is applied directly to their water bill. Another component of the program is that qualified individuals may also be able to receive a 65 percent discount off the customer service charge portion of their monthly water bill.
The Pennsylvania Dollar Energy Fund Hardship Program was intended to help a large number of people, and not necessarily only those who are qualified for other low income programs like LIHEAP. It can even assist more moderate income households that are facing a short term crisis. For example, families and individuals can get assistance from this program even if they are not eligible for LIHEAP, so the conditions that need to be met are not as strict.
In general, the following guidelines may be able to be used to determine eligibility. General income guidelines will be that applicants need to be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Government Poverty Income Threshold. This is published each and every year and the cut-offs will change. The guidelines are determined based both on the household’s total income as well as the number of members in the household.
The non-profit organization that runs the Dollar Energy Fund uses an income calculator to determine if an applicant can qualify for water bill assistance based on their total income and number of family members. It includes all sources of funds, whether from a job, disability, or pension.
The hardship program for the state of Pennsylvania will usually allow applicants whose income is below around 200% of the federal government’s poverty level to get help. This is usually based on the applicant’s pre-tax, gross income levels.
Another condition that is in effect is an applicant must have made a sincere effort to pay their water bills in the recent past. The Dollar Energy Fund is not a charity or social service program, but it is intended to help people who are facing an unexpected short term financial hardship. So the family seeking help also needs to contribute to the arrears on their account. To be eligible for grants, the general rule is that customers must have paid at least $100 towards their water bill at least 90 days prior to applying.
Donations from individuals and local businesses help fund the program. If you have extra money to contribute to this particular resource, or want to help a needy neighbor, then any person or local business is free to make a tax deductible donation.
To apply for the water bill grant or discount program in Pennsylvania, call 1-888-282-6816.
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