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Aqua Pennsylvania assistance programs.

Families facing a hardship and low income customers of Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. have a couple different assistance programs available to them. They range from payment plans for any arrears on their account to the statewide Helping Hand program.

The objective of these and other programs is to help customers keep their water service on and assist them with paying off any outstanding balance on their account. Many financially challenged households are able to benefit from these resources every single year. The program is recognized for how effective it is and has received a number of awards, including from a number of regional Community Action Agencies.

Eligibility for the Helping Hand program is not solely based on the applicants income. So this differentiates it from many other payment plans, government benefits or financial resources. Not only can the customer get help in paying off their water bills, but the Aqua Pennsylvania Helping Hand program also provides qualified customers with a number of conservation resources. This ranges from free information, tips, and suggestions up through actual resources that can be used to help them reduce their usage and therefore their water bills. For example, to expand on this, Aqua provides their customers with a free conservation kit that will contain leak-detection tablets, low-flow aerators for kitchen faucets, a low-flow shower head, and other conservation measures.

Of course a key benefit is the financial aid it provides and the disconnection prevention services. So to that end, those customers who agree to a reasonable payment arrangement on their account and who make their payments on time are given an opportunity to earn a monthly credit toward the arrears on their account.

It is a multi-faceted resource and provides customers a payment plan to pay down arrears. It provides free conservation tips and home improvements. Aqua will try to work with residential customers to ensure their water isn't turned off. Helping Hand will offer an opportunity for customers who make payments on time to earn a monthly credit toward the arrears on their account. Saving water is also key as those customers who reduce the usage on their account are also reducing the amount of their bills. This is even more important during summer months when demand is traditionally higher due to hotter weather.




While eligibly requirements can change, Aqua uses some or all of the following requirements to determine eligibility. The applying customer's household income needs to be less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. They need to have at least $110 in unpaid water bills and the account needs to be over 21 days past due. A disconnection notice is not required. Many senior or people who would be at risk without water benefit.

Each and every year the company will send out notices to customers and remind them its Helping Hand assistance program is available to qualified low-income families and the working poor. It can really be offered for anyone facing a crisis and that is having difficulty in paying their water bills.

The company operates in over 30 counties across Pennsylvania. Many community action agencies work with the company to accept and process applications. They also partner with other non-profits and social service agencies. All of these groups and Aqua administer the program to qualified customers throughout the state.

To learn more or apply, interested customers of Aqua Pennsylvania can dial 877.987.2782. Get additional information on Helping Hand or other options. In addition, Aqua will refer eligible low income and struggling customers to a local non-profit community action agency to apply.




By Jon McNamara

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