People facing a hardship in West Virginia can get assistance with paying their water bills from the Dollar Energy Fund. The program is open to income qualified families facing a short term crisis, and who have exhausted all other options and resources that may be available to them.
The West Virginia Dollar Energy Fund is a non-profit organization that administers a hardship program that offers financial assistance and cash grants. Funds are paid directly to your water company to pay any outstanding bills or debts on your account. The goal is to help individuals prevent a shut off of their water service.
Some of the details of the program include qualified applicants will be able to get a grant that is paid directly to their water account. There are various low income and poverty guidelines that need to be met per the terms of the program, but in general the requirements are not as strict as those for say LIHEAP. The guidelines are based on the families total household income as well as number of people who live in the home or apartment.
The program was created to provide short term support in a crisis situation. It is not a never ending charity program that provides aid in perpetuity. Therefore applicants need to have made a sincere effort to pay their water bills over the last several weeks. In addition, the applicant will need to have a plan in place to pay them in the not so distant future too. For example, in order to be eligible for assistance for any water bills that are in arrears, the customer must have paid at least $50 towards their water, gas and/or utility bill in the 90 day period prior to applying for the West Virginia Dollar Energy Fund.
Note for applicants who are 62 years of age or older, a reduced payment of $75 dollars will have needed to have been made towards their water account within the last 90 days. So the requirements are different from them, and this is acceptable in order to qualify.
Customers also need to continue to pay their water bills while they apply, and even after they get help, as a grant from the Dollar Energy Fund grant is not a substitute for your regular monthly payment. Another key to successfully applying for help is that prior to submitting your application for assistance with water bills from this program in West Virginia, applicants must have previously explored and applied for all available federal and state programs and non-profits. Of course the individual must also be a resident of West Virginia.
Applicants will also need to have sought support from their family and friends too. The staff from the Dollar Energy Fund will want proof of all of these steps as well. Only after all this has been done will they consider supporting the family with paying for a portion of their water service.
In order to learn more or apply for help, customers need to contact their local community action agency, or they can dial West Virginia American Water Customer Service at 1-800-685-8660
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